G8 summit and the role of Esperanto

What is G8 summit?

The 2008 G8 summit is a summit meeting held by the heads of state from
the 8 main countries (USA, UK, Italy,
Canada, Germany, France, Japan and Russia) from 7th to 9th July in
Hokkaido, Japan. Until then, various ministerial conferences including
the Environment Ministers’ conference (Kobe), the Foreign Ministers’
conference (Kyoto) and the Finance Ministers’ conference (Osaka) has
been held in different parts of Japan. This summit is annually organized
by the 8 countries above. The 2007 summit was held in Heiligendamm,

Bild: Esperanto

The G8 summit functions on the powerful structure of neoliberalised
globalization that was brought about by poverty, environmental damage
and expanding warfare. It originated from the Finance Ministers’ meeting
between the 4 countries, France, West Germany, USA and UK, in 1973. The
summit started as a search towards a new international order in response
to the destruction of the gold-dollar standard that sustained the
international economy after the Second World War and the oil shock
crisis. Nowadays, it is often regarded as a form of ‘global governance’
as it deals chiefly with economical problems stemming from globalization
in a borderless society, and security issues.

The policies from G8 summit is based on the ideology of
‘neoliberalism’. A ‘neoliberalised’ policy is founded upon the 5
principles below.

1. Abolition of trade barriers (deregulation on agricultural products

2. Privatization of the public sector (entry of the public sector
into various fields including the railway, postal service, medical
service, water service, education)

3. Flexibility of labor (basic relaxation on labor law and promotion
of non-regular employment)

4. Easing on regulations (Easing up on finance and capital
investments regulations, environmental regulations, etc.)

5. Becoming a police state (countermeasure against terrorism,
reinforced immigration control)

Countries that take part in the summit direct the rest of the countries
around the world towards ‘neoliberalism’ through IMF, the World Bank and
Free Trade Agreements. The world is prioritized around large,
multinational corporations and the majority of the population is plunged
towards poverty.

This G8 summit is neither commissioned by the United
Nations nor approved by the own parliaments in the countries. It is an
assembly purely for their personal profit. In the first place, the sum
of the populations from the participating countries does not make up
more than 14% of the world population. In spite of that, world power is
concentrated in the hands of the G8 nations. Here, two-thirds of the
national product in the world, 47% of carbon dioxide emission on earth,
80% of medical patents including AIDS, 90% of arms export, 60% of
military expenditure, 48% of voting power towards IMF and 47% of the
World Bank are all held by these countries. Even though they have a
large responsibility towards the rest of the world, these G8 countries
is deceiving everybody by hiding a non-democratic agenda, coordinating
the world to their own profits and showing a facade of humanitarianism.

Countermovement and the role of Esperanto

1. The symbol of equality and internationalism

In response against the deceitful G8 summit, anarchist
groups, communist groups and NGOs created loose networks based chiefly
in Europe and engaged in counter movements like international
anti-summits or alternative summits. In 2007, as many as 100 000 people
surrounded the site of the G8 summit in Germany.

However, a large scale international counter-movement similar to the one
in Europe did not take place in Asia. This does not mean that there are
no areas of conflict between Asia and the summit. One can think of
various societal and historical reasons but one of the largest factors
that can be taken up here is the language barrier. Although I had
received formal English education for more than 10 years in Japan, when
it comes to intricate details in planning and communications, I will
most likely take 2 days to read an email in English from Europe (the
other party would have taken not more than 30 minutes to type that
email) and a further 3 days will be spent on wording a reply. We are
confronted with an inherent inequality and inefficiency within the movement.

Under this set of circumstances in Asia, it can also be said that the
very existence of Esperanto can be regarded as a symbol of equality and
internationalism that strives towards overcoming the language barrier.

2. A common information pool

Although the spread of internet makes it effortless to take a picture on
the spot and upload it, there are limitations on international
communications for the grass-roots movement. Simply placing a caption in
Esperanto (when, who, where, what and for what reason) next to a picture
makes it an excellent source of international information. This can be
easily done by even a beginner in Esperanto. What is necessary here is
an international network for the Esperantists engaged in this struggle.
This assembly is precisely for this reason.

3. One another’s experience and an understanding and respect for each
other’s standpoint

Prolonged and unending debate will definitely not lead to mutual
understanding and mutual experience. Such is born from debate and
implementation within a mutual struggle. Perseverance and fluency in
Esperanto is also necessary. I am always very optimistic on this point
due to the fact that we have a common ideal and a common enemy.

4. A mutual struggle in the international arena

When different struggles fought in their native language
are joined together in the international arena, the role of the
messenger is of utmost importance. However, when such international
struggle is congregated into one spot, translating and international
communications has far more significance and simultaneously becomes much
more difficult. While the enemy is pushing forward the pace of
globalization, it is increasingly important for us to march ahead
together and realize an internationalized solidarity. Thus will we be
able to overcome problems like a lack of funding and communication
barriers and pursue all kinds of possibilities.

Thus, there will come a day when the imperialist countries
in the world tremble in fear at the emergence of the international army
of the diverse people who are united by the ‘queer’ language that was
ignored by international conferences.


(in Esperanto abbreviation, L.E.A.HOKKAIDO)

1-3-13 Asabu, Kitaku, Sapporo, JAPAN, JP 001-0045

TEL/FAX +81-(0)11-717-4189e-mail : naoto_5esperanto@ybb.ne.jp