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Abe aims for successful G20 ahead of upper house poll

Shuhei Yokoyama / The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, shakes hands with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who chaired the latest G20 summit meeting, on Saturday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunWith next year’s Group of 20 summit of major economies to be held in Osaka, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eyeing a successful conference that will see leaders from the United States, China, Russia and elsewhere visit Japan, hoping his achievements will lead to a strong showing in next summer’s House of Councillors election.

“The G20 is responsible for finding solutions to global issues. With the cooperation of the G20 leaders, we would like to lead the Osaka G20 to success,” Abe said Saturday, expressing his enthusiasm for next year’s summit prior to the conclusion of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.

The Osaka meeting — Japan’s first opportunity to chair a G20 summit — will be held from June 28-29 at Intex Osaka, a large exhibition hall in Suminoe Ward in the city’s bay area. About 5,000 diplomatic personnel are expected to visit Osaka for the event.

Those expected to attend are U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Abe is scheduled to meet individually with the four and other leaders.

Japan will host eight ministerial meetings, including the finance ministers and central bank governors’ meeting in Fukuoka on June 8-9 ahead of the leadership summit and the foreign ministers’ meeting in Nagoya on Nov. 22-23.

A meeting of sherpas, or personal representatives of nations’ leaders, is set to convene in Japan in late January to prepare for the leadership summit.

The focus of next year’s conference will likely be whether leaders can reach a common understanding on maintaining the free-trade system, a continuation of the agenda from the most recent meeting.

There is no end in sight to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, and Japan may face challenges overseeing the meeting as chair.

Abe, meanwhile, will seek to move toward resolving the northern territories issue when he is scheduled to visit Russia in January and during bilateral talks with Russia at the next G20 meeting, hoping to convert his diplomatic achievements into success in next year’s upper house elections.Speech

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