Convention News vol. 156 0

1175d42c-b997-11e9-a2e2-06326e701dd4.jpeg

The G20 Summit has successfully concluded!
As the first G20 Summit to be held in Japan, the 2019 G20 Summit was held on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29, 2019 at INTEX Osaka. What follows is an explanation of the role that the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau played the day before the summit at the "Welcome to Osaka-Kansai" Reception, and at the INTEX Osaka exhibition space. 

11d88df6-b997-11e9-8017-0af0cba29dd8.jpeg
12f42a9c-b997-11e9-bf85-0af0cba29dd8.jpeg
13b334dc-b997-11e9-a6f9-0af0cba29dd8.jpeg

2019 G20 Osaka Summit "Welcome to Osaka-Kansai" Reception

Along with providing the utmost "omotenashi" (hospitality) to dignitaries from various countries and international organizations, the "Welcome to Osaka- Kansai" Reception was held in order to promote the 2025 World Expo in Osaka and introduce the wonder of Osaka/ Kansai's advanced technology, all the while sharing laughter with guests. Furthermore, the event aimed to provide guests with their first experience of Osaka/ Kansai culture through Osaka cuisine. The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau consistently collaborated almost every week with the Kansai Promotion Council for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit, the organizers for the reception.

Date and Time
Thursday, June 27, 2019     19:30- 21:00

Venue
Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka (3rd floor Korin Grand Ballroom)

Number of Attendees
approx. 350 people

Foreign Attendees (Guests)
Around 180 people comprising delegations from 25 countries along with international organizations were in attendance, including first-time attendees Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, IMF Chairman Christine Lagarde, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, and President David Malpass of the World Bank Group.

Domestic Attendees (Hosts)
Around 170 representatives from various Japanese government bodies were in attendance, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono, members of the foreign affairs and finance ministries,  members of the Kansai region's business circles,  Osaka legislators of the National Diet, and legislators of both the Osaka prefectural and municipal assemblies.

"Welcome to Osaka-Kansai" Reception, Program

19:00 Doors open
19:30 Reception Opening: Opening Act, Welcome Address from the Council Chairman (Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi)
19:45 Host Country Address (Japanese Government Representative, Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono)
19:50 Commemorative Photo
20:00 Toast
20:15 Performance 1
           (An enjoyable performance showcasing advanced technology from Osaka/ Kansai, with introduction)
20:25 Conversation Time
20:45 Performance 2
           (An introduction to Osaka/ Kansai culture through the weaving together of dance and images. The finale was a bustling fusion of traditional Osaka summer festival scenery with modern technology.
20:55 Closing Remarks
21:00 Reception Closing

142ed75e-b997-11e9-9d11-06326e701dd4.jpeg
14067c3c-b997-11e9-8a4e-06326e701dd4.jpeg

The reception was held by the Kansai Promotion Council for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit, comprised of both Osaka Prefecture and City as well as the business sector. The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau participated mainly in the planning of the opening act, performances, and exhibition booths, as well as collaborating at the reception to be an essential part of providing "omotenashi" to guests from each country. After the opening act featuring a world-first technological display of LED flags, Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi in his welcome address expressed "As a local area, we would like to firmly uphold safety and security to so that the sessions may be productive. We want to introduce to everyone the delights of Osaka/ Kansai food, as well as its technology and culture."  As representative of the Japanese government, Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono stated in his address "At the G20 Summit, we would like to develop the world economy even more through innovation, and at the same time, we want to send out a message that we can resolve problems of disparity. I hope that the world leaders will resolutely discuss our global issues, such as climate change and ocean plastic."

At the venue, guests were served local beverages as well as cuisine prepared with local ingredients. Looking towards the 2025 World Expo to be held in Osaka/ Kansai, startup companies from the Kansai region introduced their latest technologies in an exhibition, and guests were treated to a performance from Imamiya Senior High School's dance team.

Osaka/ Kansai Exhibition Space

Date and Time
Thursday, June 27- Sunday, June 30, 2019
 June 27     8:00- 21:00 (Exhibition Booths 10:00- 21:00)
 June 28     6:00- 21:00 (Exhibition Booths 10:00- 21:00)
 June 29     6:00- 21:00 (Exhibition Booths 10:00- 21:00)
 June 30     6:00- 21:00 (Exhibition Booths 10:00- 12:00)

Venue
INTEX Osaka Hall 3

1234e04c-b997-11e9-b7fc-0af0cba29dd8.jpeg
145ae3b2-b997-11e9-8acc-06326e701dd4.jpeg
13dba930-b997-11e9-a7c0-06326e701dd4.jpeg

Under the main concept of "Compiling various attractiveness of Osaka/ Kansai through 'past,' 'present,' and 'future,'" the exhibition space took Osaka/ Kansai's diverse charms such as traditional art, food, industry & technology, and history & culture, as well as the 2025 World Expo in Osaka/ Kansai, and displayed each one in the categories of "past," "present," and "future." Each prefecture in the Kansai region chose their best crafts and most advanced appliances and devices for a total of 96 items on display. Also on display were Japanese cuisine demonstrations and sampling booths explaining local ingredients such as konbu soup stock, and as many as 6,659 media personnel attended. The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau assisted in the display selection and preparation of the exhibition.

International Media Center (IMC)

Venue
INTEX Osaka Hall 6

129447b2-b997-11e9-82fb-0af0cba29dd8.jpeg
148a5cfa-b997-11e9-96c0-06326e701dd4.jpeg
14f4536c-b997-11e9-909f-06326e701dd4.jpeg

The International Media Center (IMC) served as the base for the media from countries all over the world. Taking into account the time difference between countries, the IMC was in operation 24 hours a day, and was continuously bustling with activity. Each country's newscasters delivered their broadcasts in real time. In line with this summit's topics of ocean pollution caused by plastic trash, the plates, forks, and straws in the meal corner were all made of wood or paper, and the trays were made of recycled plastic. 

Osaka's State of Affairs on the Summit Day

1354e6c0-b997-11e9-94e9-0af0cba29dd8.jpeg


From the beginning of June, police gradually tightened security measures centered on the South Bay area, as well as around the rest of the city. On the day of the G20 Summit, every major station had at least one patrolling police officer, and moreover many officers were posted around Morinomiya, Tanimachi Yonchome, and Cosmosquare stations. We could feel the tension in the air.

In the days leading up to the summit, the Osaka Prefectural Police announced traffic restrictions on the highways and local roads, and advised the public to avoid using cars as much as possible on the day of the summit. Similarly, the Kansai Promotion Council for the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit assisted in disseminating knowledge about the traffic restrictions, using social media as well as the Osaka Convention and Tourism's website to send out information. Because of these calls to avoid roads, many people used the trains. There were no major traffic accidents or congestion, and compared to normal the roads were very quiet. According to later reports from the police, at first the goal was a 50% reduction in traffic volume, despite concerns raised at the difficulty of achieving this. However, thanks to the cooperation of the many citizens, in actuality there was nearly a 70% drop in traffic volume. 

The media and police were seen gathered in areas with hotels hosting members of G20 delegations and in various places around the city. Osaka was able to show its appeal to the world with the G20 summit, where top officials from around the world were able to safely and securely meet for high-profile international meetings. The summit was an opportunity for Osaka to elevate its urban power, and for the government and people to gain first-hand experience with high-level events.