JAPAN: G8 SUMMIT: LEADERS (2) The G-Eight leaders are vowing to help close the so-called digital divide. At their summit in Japan, the leaders agreed to create a task force to pool their efforts to boost Internet access and lower its costs in developing nations. The leaders also called for government policies that avoid undue regulatory intervention in information technology and vowed to protect intellectual property rights in cyberspace. The task force will report on the success of its efforts at next year's G-8 summit in Italy. The G-8 members are Japan, the U-S, Italy, Britain, Germany, France, Canada and Russia. Japanese leader Yoshiro Mori had hoped that being in the spotlight alongside the leaders of the richest nations in the world would help his popularity at home. The other leaders joined Mori on Saturday for a tree-planting ceremony before the official session began. Many among the crowd had a hard time explaining why a pine was chosen - speculation about longevity or growing economies circulated among the onlookers. Once inside the meeting the leaders dined on local fare. While the G-8 was originally set up as an economic forum for the seven wealthiest countries in the world and Russia, putting leaders from the world's most powerful nations together gives an opportunity to discuss politics and much more. Topics expected to be brought up include the thawing of relations between the Koreas, fighting diamond smuggling in Africa, conflict prevention around the world, and spreading information technology to developing nations. Russian president Vladimir Putin is likely to be pushing his opposition to the proposed U-S missile defense shield. He lined up support from China and North Korea ahead of the summit. The Europeans were deemed likely to try and keep the focus on economics. The E-U was projected to pass the U-S as the world's foremost financial power during one of the preliminary meetings before the leaders got together. While the U-S economic engine has driven the current rosy world financial picture, a downturn seems inevitable to many analysts. Japan hopes to keep growing, along with Europe to be able to maintain the bright situation that now exists. Clinton and Mori agreed Saturday to extend for a fourth year trade negotiations the United States believes offer the best hope for lowering America's huge trade deficit with Japan. The trade talks between the U-S and Japan were first launched at the Denver economic summit in 1997 and cover a broad range of business sectors, ranging from telecommunications to financial services and pharmaceuticals. The U-S administration has used the talks to apply pressure to Japan to cut regulations that American businesses believe are being used to keep their products out of the Japanese market. However, the discussions over the past three years have been very contentious because the Japanese government has accused the administration of making extreme demands about its internal rules of governing the Japanese economy. Russian President Vladimir Putin was awarded Saturday with a ninth-degree black belt from leaders of one of the major styles of karate, which was born in Okinawa centuries ago. He said that he was very honoured and that he will try to justify it. Putin has often gone out of his way to meet with martial arts experts during his trips abroad, and was frequently shown doing judo, a sport he has practised since childhood, during his presidential campaign.
人物：ビル・クリントン, トニー・ブレア, ゲアハルト・シュレーダー, ジャン・クレティエン, 森 喜朗, ウラジーミル・プーチン, ジャック・シラク