Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged fellow leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies Thursday to avert another global crisis by acting to rescue the faltering global recovery.
President Barack Obama backed Abe’s call, saying it was crucial not just to put people back to work but also raise wages and maintain the momentum of the recovery.
“We’ve all got a lot of work to do, and we agreed to continue to focus on making sure that each country, based on its particular needs and capacities, is taking steps to accelerate growth,” the president said.
During the talks, Abe compared the current global economic situation to conditions just before the 2008 financial crisis. A G-7 summit held in northern Japan paid little attention to the trouble that was brewing, he said.
“We learned a lesson that we failed to respond properly because we did not have a firm recognition of the risks,” Abe told reporters. “This time, we had a thorough discussion and recognized the major risks facing the global economy.”
Japanese officials also highlighted joint efforts on corruption, terrorism, global health and migration — which has become a huge headache especially for European nations — as other top priorities.
A possible exit from the European Union by Britain, depending on a June 23 vote, is also hanging over the talks.
The G-7 leaders also agreed on Thursday on the need to send a strong message on maritime claims in the western Pacific, where an increasingly assertive& China& is locked in territorial disputes with Japan and several& Southeast Asian nations.
The agreement prompted a sharp rejoinder from& China, which is not in the G-7 club but whose rise as a power has put it at the heart of some discussions at the advanced nations’ summit in Ise-Shima, central Japan.
The annual summit brings together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. It is taking place amid extraordinarily tight security around the remote summit venue, with uniformed police standing guard at close intervals on both sides of roads and randomly in forests, rice fields, soccer fields and other locations.
After the summit ends on Friday afternoon, Obama plans to visit the peace park in Hiroshima, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city on which the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945, in the closing days of World War II.