Japan’s Abe Takes G7 Leaders to Shrine as Economy Tops Summit Agenda

Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe escorted Group of Seven (G7) leaders to the Shinto religion’s holiest site on Thursday before a summit covering topics from risks to the global economy to refugees and China’s maritime assertiveness.

Abe greeted U.S. President Barack Obama and other G7 partners one-by-one at Ise Grand Shrine in central Japan, dedicated to sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami, mythical ancestress of the emperor.

Led by a white-robed priest, each leader walked across a bridge, took part in a tree-planting ritual, strolled through the expansive grounds and posed for a group photo.

Abe has said he hopes the shrine visit will provide an insight to the heart of Japanese culture. Critics say he’s catering to a conservative base that wants to put religion back in politics and revive traditional values.

Reuters

Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.