As a member of the G8, Japan often does not get the attention it deserves. Perhaps more than in any member country, domestic politics have dictated Japan’s engagement in the summit process and the issues it chooses to discuss through this forum. A year after the Hokkaido Toyako Summit, there is a different Japanese leader in the G8 “family photo” and likely to be another one before the next summit begins.
In this video, Andrew F. Cooper interviews Hugo Dobson – Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield – to discuss the differences between the 2008 and 2009 summits and the factors that play into Japan’s performance in the G8 process. First and foremost, he points to the more relaxed atmosphere in L’Aquila where activities at Toyako were quite regimented and organized. Press briefings by the Japanese foreign ministry have been conducted in a much more informal manner, contrasting starkly with last year.