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The Spectacular Circus Called G8 Summit Comes To Town

By: Toshiko Tsuhako

Date Posted: 2000-06-10

Let the three-ring circus begin. Here we sit (in the front row) a mere six weeks away from what will be one of the most defining moments of this coming century. The keynote speakers have arrived in the form of eight of arguably the most powerful men alive.

They will be accompanied by an estimated 4000 reporters, who in turn will be accompanied by tens of thousands of vendors, protestors, security personnel, et cetera. And what do we hope to accomplish with this magnificent feat? This very well could be the pivotal moment that we, members of the human race, can bump this runaway train back on the track toward an ever-elusive peace. What better place to begin than Okinawa? Plucked from the Pacific pool of obscurity, Okinawa has been thrust into the spotlight. Hopefully, along with its picturesque beaches and rich cultural background, these visitors will take notice of its scars.

Okinawa epitomizes the problems of an increasingly international world. For one, it is a product of the new Imperialism. An independent nation for well over a millennium, the island nation of Ryukyu has been stripped of its nobility and tossed around like a toy in a playpen for the past 50 years. Secondly, Okinawa is representative of the problems in an ethnically diverse community. Crimes committed by foreigners garner more media attention than similar crimes between locals. And many businesses still decline to serve non-Japanese. Third, Okinawa suffers from an over avaricious industrialism propelled by foreign investors and foreign markets. Most noticeable is the destruction of one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world for tourism purposes.

Obviously, there are many other topics yet to be confronted. High on the agenda of this Summit will be topics relating to cyberspace. Protests will be held on behalf of the third world economies to request 70 billion dollars worth of debt relief. And the status of China as an international player must be ironed out. All this will occur on this little island we call home. So do not allow this historical moment pass you by. I assure you it has all the makings of one spectacular circus.

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