ISE, Japan (AP) — The latest news on the Group of Seven summit in Japan, where the leaders of the seven advanced economies are meeting for two days (all times local):
The G-7 leaders have expressed their concern about territorial disputes among Asian countries in the East and South China Seas.
In a communique at the end of their two-day meeting, they emphasized “the fundamental importance of peaceful management and settlement of disputes.”
G-7 member Japan is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Japan and the U.S. have also expressed concern about China’s island-building activities in the South China Sea, where several countries have overlapping territorial claims.
A Japanese government spokesman says that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bid farewell to President Barack Obama at the end of the annual Group of Seven summit meeting, as this will be Obama’s last.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said Friday that Abe thanked Obama for his contribution to the G-7 during his eight-year-long presidency.
Obama noted that he will still be around for a while and asked their continued friendship, prompting laughs from the others, Seko said. The U.S. president leaves office early next year.
The leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies have pledged to “collectively tackle” major risks to global growth, including direct political threats to the international order from terrorist attacks, violent extremism and refugee flows.
G-7 leaders wrapped up their annual summit Friday with a declaration that claimed a “special responsibility” for leading international efforts to cope with those challenges.
They committed to a cooperative approach in beefing up policies to stimulate and sustain growth of their sluggish economies with use of flexible spending strategies to create jobs and shore up confidence in uncertain times.
6:30 p.m. Thursday
President Barack Obama says G-7 leaders are focused on the need to accelerate economic growth.
Obama is speaking to reporters after the first day of meetings. He says that the leaders of the G-7 nations are intent on using all of the tools at their disposal to put people back to work and to lift wages.
Obama says there are signs the economy is improving in Europe as it has gotten past the Greek debt crisis.
He says the leaders are also focused on advancing free trade agreements and “pushing back against protectionism.”
Obama says the leaders also touch on key security issues, particularly in the South China Sea and Ukraine. In Ukraine, there has been progress with negotiations, but there has still been too much violence.
The many splendored menu for the G-7 leaders’ working lunch showcases local specialties in keeping with Japan’s effort to pique appetites for its traditional products.
It includes five appetizers and at least 15 vegetables, including burdock root and pickled ginger.
The area where the leaders are meeting is known for its luscious, fat-marbled Matsuzaka beef, which was seared and served atop rice as sushi, along with “nigiri” made of squid, flounder, tuna and egg.
A local sake was complimented by a Chardonnay from central Japan’s Nagano prefecture.
The no-holds-barred effort to promote Japanese cuisine and other products is in full gear at the summit media center, where alongside elegantly presented sushi, noodles and fish, an exhibition features robots and other high technology, including some of the latest mobility devices and electric vehicles.