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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will explain his economic policies to fellow leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrialized countries when they meet next week in Northern Ireland, given heightened interest among other G-8 nations in the policies, dubbed "Abenomics," according to Japanese officials.
Abe hopes to win understanding for his three-pronged policies, aimed at ending decades of deflation and reviving the economy, amid some criticism that the weaker yen, driven mostly by aggressive monetary easing, has hurt rivals' exports by making Japanese goods relatively cheaper abroad.
The summit at the Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen next Monday and Tuesday, gathering leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, will be the first occasion for Abe to showcase his pet policies in a multinational setting.
The so-called "three arrows" of the Abenomics policies consist of loose monetary policy by the Bank of Japan, large fiscal spending and a growth strategy centered on deregulation and tax breaks on business investment.
With Tokyo set to join the ongoing negotiations for a free-trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership in late July, the Japanese leader intends to underscore Japan's pursuit of trade as the driver of growth, the officials said.
Abe also hopes to outline Tokyo's plan to help African development while also boosting the Japanese economy, having just pledged up to 3.2 trillion yen in public- and private-sector assistance at a summit of mostly African leaders on the continent's development in Yokohama early this month.
With Syria and its more than two years of civil war expected to dominate discussions on regional affairs at the summit, Abe plans to announce emergency humanitarian aid worth roughly $10 million for refugees and displaced people in the country, a Japanese source said Thursday.
The 58-year-old leader is also arranging to unveil approximately $100 million worth of yen loans to Jordan, which has sheltered many refugees who have fled Syria, according to the source.
Coupled with Tokyo's just-unveiled plan to directly provide medical and other kinds of humanitarian aid to people in rebel-held areas in Syria, the prime minister intends to showcase Japan's effort to help stabilize Syria.
On North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile activities, Abe hopes to lead discussions at the meeting to present a concerted stance on not allowing a nuclear-armed North Korea, according to the officials.
With the enactment on Wednesday of a law needed to ratify a treaty to help settle cross-border child custody disputes, Abe also intends to underscore Japan's effort to implement the pact soon, possible early next year.
Japan is the only country in the G-8 that has yet to accede to the international accord.
At the G-8 summit, the leaders are expected to discuss balancing growth and employment with fiscal discipline, ways to drive world growth, and the need to coordinate counterterrorism efforts in North Africa following the Algerian hostage incident in January.
The issues of tax avoidance and evasion by large multinational corporations, which have generated public interest in Europe and the United States, and efforts to counter money-laundering are also expected to top the agenda at the meeting.
On the fringes of the G-8 summit, Abe plans to meet bilaterally with British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Abe, who took office as prime minister in December, is taking part in the annual G-8 summit for the second time. He first attended the 2007 summit in Heiligendamm in Germany when he served as prime minister for a year until September 2007.
The other leaders expected to attend this year's summit are Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso are also slated to take part.
Abe, who is set to leave Tokyo on Saturday, is scheduled to stop over in Warsaw before going to Northern Ireland. In the Polish capital, he is slated to hold talks with the leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, which together make up the so-called Visegrad Group.
After the G-8 meeting, Abe is scheduled to go to Ireland for talks with Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the first-ever trip to the country by a sitting Japanese prime minister. He is set to return to Japan next Thursday after giving a speech on Japan's economic policies to investors and politicians in London.
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