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G20 Osaka Summit 2019

The G20 Osaka Summit will be held at the end of June. In this article, we outline the summit and introduce some of the various attractions of Osaka, the summit venue.

The G20 Osaka Summit will be held at Intex Osaka in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, on June 28 and 29. The G20 Summit is an annual international conference involving the participation of the leaders of nineteen countries including Japan and the European Union (EU). This is the first time that Japan assumes the G20 Summit’s presidency. Every year, the G20 Summit is attended by the G20 leaders, leaders of invited guest countries and representatives of invited guest international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

The official name of the G20 is the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.” The G20’s objective has been to facilitate the strong growth of the world economy as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”, representing more than 80 % of the global GDP.

The Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 triggered the widespread international recognition that the discussion about the international financial systems needed the participation of major emerging market countries in addition to the G7 members. In 1999, the 1st G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting was held.

Subsequently, the conference was upgraded to the head of state level to cope with the global financial crisis in 2008 and the 1st G20 Summit was held in Washington, D.C. The G20 Osaka Summit will be the 14th.

In recent years, the G20 has been a forum to discuss not only economics and trade but also global issues such as development, climate change, and health that have immense impacts on the global economy. The G20 Osaka Summit will send a strong message of unity through the G20’s commitment to leading global economic growth by promoting free trade and innovation, contributing to resolving environmental and global issues such as climate change and ocean plastic waste, and the promotion of a society in which all women shine.

Traffic will be regulated around Intex Osaka, the venue, during the G20 Osaka Summit.

G20 Members

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, and European Union (EU)

Osaka, the Summit Venue

Osaka, the venue for the G20 Osaka Summit, has been called the “city of water.” Osaka developed its logistical economy using the sea, rivers and waterways around Osaka Castle after the opening of the port of Naniwatsu, a gateway to trade with Asian countries, in the fifth century. In the Edo period (1603–1867), a system for gathering many commodities from across the country and transporting them to where they were in demand was established. Osaka thus became a merchant city referred to as “Japan’s Kitchen.” Osaka, with its rich mentality of embracing new ideas, became the birthplace of many global companies after the Meiji period (1868–1912). In recent years an increasing number of cutting-edge technology companies in the bio and life science industries have established themselves in Osaka.

In Osaka, Japan’s Kitchen, a rich food culture was also born. The usage of dashi stock, an extract from kelp and bonito which characterizes Japanese-style food is particular. It is used for flavoring variety of meals, including the soup noodles such as udon, and the batter of konamon, flour-based cuisines such as takoyaki, octopus balls and okonomiyaki, the savory Japanese pancake.

It is a great pleasure to eat these foods while traveling in Osaka. Dotonbori, Osaka’s largest business area, has a vibrant atmosphere alive with tourists and local people year-round and where every kind of restaurant can be found.

Public entertainment also thrives in Osaka and a wide variety of music and theatrical plays ranging from classical to modern are performed. Particularly popular in Osaka is owarai, meaning “laughter” and referring to forms of comedy. You can enjoy watching rakugo, a traditional comedic storytelling act, and manzai, a style of Japanese stand-up comedy, at theaters.

There are also many places to see on the outskirts of Osaka. One of them is Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun, one of the world’s largest mounded tombs with a mound length of 486 meter, built around the fifth century. Around Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun, located on the outskirts of Osaka, less than one hour by train from JR Osaka Station, is a promenade approximately 2.8 kilometers long that you can enjoy walking along and feeling the atmosphere of ancient times. The Japanese government is working to have Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group, including Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun, inscribed on World Heritage List.

In 2025, Osaka will host its second world exposition, having previously hosted Expo 1970. Expo 2025 will be held in the Yumeshima district, guided by the slogan, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.” Osaka, which has a long and rich culture of nurturing enterprising spirit, can show the world an ideal future of society.