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"A Wish for a Cool Earth"
Tanabata Festival Event Marking One Year until the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit

Saturday, July 7, 2007

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participated by video conference from the Prime Minister's Official Residence in the Tanabata Festival Event Marking One Year until the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit held in Toyako Town, Hokkaido, and enjoyed conversation with local elementary school students in Hokkaido. (July 7 in Japan is the day of the Star Festival, or Tanabata.)

The event marked precisely one year before the next G8 Summit, scheduled to start on July 7, 2008. The one year period starting from July 7, 2007 is designated as the Summit Year, and the event was held with the objective of raising momentum in the lead-up to the summit opening.

Prime Minister Abe explained about his presentation at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm of "Cool Earth 50," a proposal for curbing global warming. He also showed his own "challenge card" that described his personal commitment for reducing greenhouse gases with the motto of "1 person, 1day, 1kg" reduction, and called for the people's broad participation in this "My Declaration to Take on the Challenge" initiative. The Prime Minister also invited entries for the summit logo and introduced the Cool Earth Ambassadors, who will call on the people to engage in environmental activities. He then spoke about his enthusiasm for next year's summit and appealed for the people's cooperation.

In connection with the July 7 Tanabata festival, local elementary school representatives showed the Prime Minister their wishes written on strips of paper. In return, Prime Minister Abe concluded the video conference by displaying his own paper strip inscribed with his determination: "My commitment to a cool earth: I will fulfill the responsibility of reducing greenhouse gases one kilogram a day."