Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved. Photo by Masatsura
In a comic book twist to the G8 story, this year's G8 Summit is under investigation by Detective Conan, a brilliant detective who has been transformed into an elementary school kid. Conan also happens to be the star of the Case Closed manga, which is extremely popular with kids of all ages here in Japan.
As many of you know, Japan is famous for its prolific manga comic books on all subjects ranging from ancient history through to the latest current affairs. In the best Japanese tradition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan (MOFA) has commissioned a special edition of Detective Conan to help explain the ins and outs of the G8 summit in an easy and quick format that anyone can take in without expending too much of their own brain power.
The Conan G8 guide also introduces the 2008 J8 (Junior 8) Summit, an annual youth forum sponsored by UNICEF which is run in parallel with the yearly G8 summits. This year's J8 Summit is being held in Chitose City in Hokkaido, Japan from July 2-9.
Manga fans can check out the Detective Conan G8 Summit Guide on the MOFJ website, but unfortunately it is only in Japanese. If you want to do a little investigation of your own into the G8 Hokkaido Toyoko Summit in English, please check out the G8 Summit official website.
Will the G8 leaders listen to the J8 delegates when they meet next week? Hannah Coakley is confident that their recommendations will make an impact.
"Perhaps the G8 will use them in the future, or take them back to their own countries and include young people on a more day-to-day basis, which is what we are looking for, really," she said.
The kids have a packed schedule of group sessions to formulate and then draft their proposals. But it is not all work and no play. The J8 itinerary includes a number of cultural events intended to build friendships that will last long after this summit has finished. For a group of high-achievers with the potential of becoming tomorrow's world leaders, the value of such an outcome is immeasurable.
A delegate from Russia, Alina Podboronova, considered the long-term benefits of the summit. "I think the most important thing I can get from the J8," she said, "is experience and friends from all over the world."
A good time as any to call on Conan to get to the bottom of the G8 Summit's mysteries.
Brought to you from all of us at greenz.jp.