Japan’s Prime Minister Abe said,
“The rich sea of Shima in front of your eyes is connected to the Indian Ocean via the Pacific Ocean. As the host, with the thoughts of many countries in Asia and Africa, Japan would like to exchange opinions frankly with the leaders of the world to realize a peaceful and prosperous world.” He added,
“The Japanese landscape is full of nature, with islands of various sizes and beautiful inlets, so the leaders of the world will be able to experience our rich traditions and culture firsthand.”
Certainly, the Ise-Shima area is a stunning jewel amongst the natural beauty of southern Mie prefecture. It is home to one of Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrines, Ise Jingu, and is thus considered to be Japan’s historical and cultural birthplace. Ise-Shima also boasts the famous Mikimoto Pearl Island, and the 400-year-old traditional puppet theater in Anori, not to mention a stunning coastline with pristine beaches and the Ise-Shima National Park.
However, it surprised me that Ise-Shima was chosen as the venue for this summit, despite it having the number one economic growth rate in Japan, for it is a rural, coastal area with just 130,000 residents. Mie Prefecture has a total population of only 1.8 million, barely one seventh the size of Tokyo with its population of over 13 million people. The logistics alone will be mind boggling.