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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Overseas citizens' groups prepare G8 strategy


Staff writer

As the Group of Eight summit approaches in July, leaders of overseas citizens' groups got together Friday in Tokyo to prepare countermeasures for the upcoming annual meeting of the major developed countries near Lake Toya, Hokkaido.

The G8 Action Network, holding a press conference in Tokyo, argued that the G8 summit members have only worsened the poverty and debt of developing countries by pushing for global free trade and deregulation.

The network will organize forums and demonstrations during the period of the summit in Hokkaido, the group said at the news conference.

The G8 Action Network currently consists of 32 nongovernmental organizations as well as 141 individuals in Japan, plus overseas groups such as, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions from South Korea, and Migrant Forum in Asia and Focus on the Global South, both from the Philippines.

"We have come here all of us from different movements and organizations from around the world . . . to call for solidarity from the Japanese organizations," said Mary Lou Malig of Focus on the Global South.

"The G8 nations account for just 14 percent of the world's population," Malig said, claiming that its decisions could largely dictate the course of the rest of the world and have worsened poverty and increased insecurity during the past few years.

During the conference, the group also announced that a representative from the Committee for Asian Women was rejected by immigration officials trying to enter Japan on Thursday at Narita airport.

The reason for the refusal was not immediately known as of Friday night.

For more information about the G8 Action Network, visit www.jca.apc.org/alt-g8


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The Japan Times

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