Eager to avoid the ugly clashes of recent G8 summits, Japanese authorities are trying to keep protestors well away from the Windsor Hotel venue. Roads have been closed and checkpoints set up around the remote lakeside town of Toyako, providing problems for locals. “The traffic has been bad for a few weeks,” lamented one resident.
More than 21,000 extra police officers have been deployed to Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island. There is also heightened security in the capital, Tokyo. Several thousand protestors have gathered in the nearest city, Sapporo, around 100 kilometres from the summit.
While some are calling for an end to what they see as expensive and meaningless G8 summits, others want to put pressure on G8 leaders to act.
Ciara O’Sullivan of the NGO Global Call to Action Against Poverty said: “People have gone online and asked for more money to be spent on education, more money to be spent on health, HIV AIDS, on addressing climate change, and also on making sure they fulfil their commitments on aid.”
The total cost of the security operation has been estimated at 180 million euros, a third more than at the last summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.