High Hopes for a Smooth Trip

The prospects are better than usual for a cooperative summit in Japan

Economic summit meetings are always part consultation and part ceremony but, all too often, mostly ceremony. Every year the venue changes, but the format is the same. The heads of the world's leading industrial democracies (the U.S., Japan, West Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada), joined by representatives of the European Community, gather somewhere pleasant for two to three days of talks in the name of greater economic cooperation. They meet often and dine well in private, with time out for photo opportunities. A communiqué laden with truisms is released. Then the luminaries disperse to follow whatever divergent policies they please.


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