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At a glance: Japan

At announcement of Junior 8 Summit 2008 in Japan, an appeal for youth participation

UNICEF Image: Japan, Junior 8 Summit 2008
© Japan Committee for UNICEF/2007
Yumeko Naito, 18, who was a Japanese delegate at J8 Summit 2006, speaks at the press conference as UNICEF Japan Goodwill Ambassador Dr. Agnes Chan looks on.

By Shoko Fujita

TOKYO, Japan, 2 November 2007 – The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNICEF jointly announced today that Junior 8 Summit 2008 will take place in Chitose, on the island of Hokkaido – including the scenic Shikotsu Lake area – from 2 to 9 July 2008.

The youth summit, also know as J8, will be held parallel to the G8 summit of world leaders in Tokyo.

Following the successful approach taken at previous summits, J8 Summit 2008 will be attended by 39 children – a group of 4 from each G8 country and 7 from developing nations.

Youth engagement in global issues

The press conference announcing the J8 in Japan took place at UNICEF House in Tokyo, with Japan Committee for UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Dr. Agnes Chan and former Japanese J8 delegate Yumeko Naito in attendance.

Ms. Naito talked about her experience at J8 Summit 2006 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

UNICEF Image: Japan, Junior 8 Summit 2008
© Japan Committee for UNICEF/2007
Dr. Agnes Chan appeals to Japanese children to get involved in the global youth summit in 2008.

“J8 was a great opportunity for me to broaden my views and deepen my interest in global issues,” she said. “By attending it, I was determined to work on making the world a better place where everyone can live happily. It was also a wonderful experience to meet new friends from all over the world and exchange opinions with them.”

Contest to select J8 delegates

Japan Committee for UNICEF Executive Director Ken Hayami also announced the launch of this year’s J8 competition to select youth delegates from Japan, and appointed Dr. Chan as the chief judge for the contest.

“I am very pleased to take on this responsibility,” said Dr. Chan. “I would indeed like children to imagine what they could achieve through J8. This is a special opportunity for children to express their ideas about world issues such as climate change and development, which are discussed by G8 leaders and directly deliver their perspectives to them. They should take advantage of this fantastic chance and speak out for world’s children.”

The selection process of the J8 contest in Japan is divided into three stages: a group essay, an interview and a debate and discussion among the finalists.

“Children have wonderful dreams and ideas to build a better future of the world, with which adults can never come up. I am looking forward to group essays with full of their creative and brand-new ideas,” Dr. Chan said, adding an appeal to Japanese children: “Please join the J8 Summit 2008!”



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