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U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Buenos Aires. U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with other Group of 20 leaders, gather for a group photo in Buenos Aires, Nov. 30, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).

Setting the Scene—and the Expectations—for the G-20 Summit in Japan

Monday, June 24, 2019

This weekend, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomes world leaders to Osaka for the annual summit of the Group of 20. This club of major economies has been at the forefront of global governance since November 2008, when U.S. President George W. Bush convened an emergency committee to help rescue a world plummeting into the financial and economic abyss. The G-20’s ambit has since broadened to encompass an ever-expanding range of global issues.

The Osaka summit continues that trend. Japan set an ambitious agenda for its presidency of the G-20, which rotates every year. Major themes include removing structural impediments to growth, reforming the global trading system, adapting the world economy to the data revolution, combating climate change and plastics pollution, adjusting employment policy to reflect aging societies, empowering women in the workforce, advancing sustainable development and achieving universal health coverage. This sprawling program reflects the G-20’s perceived centrality as a global steering group, as well as the constant temptation of successive host nations to add signature initiatives to the G-20’s preexisting priorities. ...

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