Abe claims success as G-7 leaders back action on economies

SHIMA, Japan (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed success Friday in winning support for his approach to fighting off a possible economic crisis from fellow leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations, despite mounting evidence the formula is failing to yield promised results in Japan.

In meetings at an isolated seaside resort renowned for its crayfish and pearls, Abe appealed for more action to stave off a downturn, insisting that an earlier lack of urgency contributed to the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Wrapping up the gathering with a sweeping declaration and several additional "action plans," the leaders acknowledged increasing risks for the global economic outlook, including terrorism, legions of displaced people, and conflicts that "pose a serious threat to the existing rule-based international order."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves after a press conference of the Group of Seven Summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. The G-7 host, ...

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves after a press conference of the Group of Seven Summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. The G-7 host, Abe appealed to his fellow leaders to act to avert another global crisis, comparing the current global economic situation to conditions just before the 2008 financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

But they said their countries had strengthened policies to avoid relapsing into crisis.

Attention swiftly shifted from the G-7 finale as Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Hiroshima, where Obama became the first sitting American president to visit the city devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in 1945 in the closing days of World War II.

Abe said the commitment by the leaders to "use all policy tools — monetary, fiscal and structural" was an endorsement of his own "Abenomics" three-pronged strategy for reviving Japan's sluggish growth.

"We agreed to mobilize all our resources and launch three 'arrows' of monetary, fiscal and structural reform measures," Abe said. "We will be launching Abenomics to the world."

"In order to avoid risks of the world economy falling into crisis, Japan will also do its utmost to cooperate and take leadership, mobilizing all possible resources, and boost the engine of Abenomics," he said.

More than three years after Abe took office vowing to "Bring Japan Back!" from more than two decades of economic doldrums, his formula has yet to deliver the desired results: rising wages, business investment and a sustained recovery that places the world's third-largest economy into a "virtuous cycle."

After a slight uptick in growth earlier this year, economists say conditions in Japan have deteriorated, partly due to the slowdown in China and other emerging economies.

But backing from his G-7 counterparts may give Abe a boost as his ruling Liberal Democratic Party heads into a July parliamentary election. It also could embolden him to put off an unpopular increase in the national sales tax, to 10 percent from 8 percent.

"Abenomics is not a failure at all," Abe told reporters, declaring he would "rev up the engine of Abenomics to the highest level possible."

While they did not formally concur with Abe that the world is poised on the brink of crisis, the G-7 leaders did claim a special responsibility for beefing up their own economic policies.

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, also said the world was "no longer in a 2008 moment."

"We are out of the crisis but we are suffering the legacy of the crisis," Lagarde said, pointing to bad loans on the books of companies and banks as one of the biggest causes of concern.

But she said, "Many countries can do quite a lot and some more than they are currently doing."

The G-7 summit brought together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. Leaders of major international organizations and a select group of developing countries attended "outreach" sessions held after the G-7 summit meetings ended.

The group's discussions addressed a wide range of issues, including terrorism and other risks to peace and global growth, the massive flows of refugees and migrants to Europe to escape conflict and poverty at home, global threats to public health, cybercrime, corruption and efforts to help girls and women.

The leaders also expressed unease over territorial tensions in the East and South China seas. The declaration does not specifically mention China and its expansion into disputed areas, but calls for respect for freedom of navigation and overflights and for resolving conflicts peacefully through law.

But the main focus was on economic challenges.

In their statement, the leaders denounced protectionism and trade barriers and noted the negative impact of overcapacity in some industries. One of the biggest headaches, Abe said, was a glut in China's steel industry.

"It's a root cause distorting the market, and unless it's fundamentally resolved, the problem persists," he said.

The group said Britain's possible exit from the European Union, depending on the outcome of a June 23 vote, is one of many potential shocks for the global economy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said staying in the EU is "all about Britain's national interest."

"The EU makes us better off. Better off in terms of jobs, better off in terms of growth. Better off in terms of investment by other countries into our economy that creates the growth and the jobs and the livelihoods that we need," Cameron said.

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Associated Press writers Miki Toda and Aritz Parra contributed to this report. Kurtenbach reported from Ise, Japan.

From Left to right; Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria, International Monetary Fund Managing Di...

From Left to right; Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Laos' President Bounnhang Vorachit, European Union Council President Donald Tusk, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chad's President Idriss Deby, U.S. President Barack Obama, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, France's President Francois Hollande, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao pose during the family photo session at the G-7 summit, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Shima, Japan, (Jeon Heon-kyun, Pool Photo via AP)

From Left to right; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria, International Monetary Fund Managing D...

From Left to right; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Laos' President Bounnhang Vorachit, European Union Council President Donald Tusk, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chad's President Idriss Deby, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, France's President Francois Hollande, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao wait for US. President Barack Obama for the family photo session at the G-7 summit, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Shima, Japan, (Jeon Heon-kyun, Pool Photo via AP)

Leaders of Group of Seven nations, from left, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea...

Leaders of Group of Seven nations, from left, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Council President Donald Tusk, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel look to media as they gather to participate in a G-7 Working Session in Shima, Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016, during the G-7 Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel participate in a G-7 Working Session in Sh...

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel participate in a G-7 Working Session in Shima, Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016, during the G-7 Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a press conference at the G-7 summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a press conference at the G-7 summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves to the media after a press conference of the Group of Seven Summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. Th...

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves to the media after a press conference of the Group of Seven Summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. The G-7 host, Abe appealed to his fellow leaders to act to avert another global crisis, comparing the current global economic situation to conditions just before the 2008 financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks with Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Angel Gurria at the first Out...

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks with Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Angel Gurria at the first Outreach Session during the second day of the Group of Seven summit meetings in Ise Shima, Japan, May 27, 2016.(Jim Watson/Pool Photo via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, walks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim right, during the family photo session at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in Shim...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, walks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim right, during the family photo session at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in Shima, Japan. Friday, May 27, 2016. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a press briefing following the G-7 summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. A possible exit...

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a press briefing following the G-7 summit in Shima, central Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016. A possible exit from the European Union by Britain, depending on a June 23 vote, is also hanging over the talks. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

French President Francois Hollande, left, speaks with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde  during the family photo session at the...

French President Francois Hollande, left, speaks with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde during the family photo session at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in Shima, Japan. Friday, May 27, 2016. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP)

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, speaks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the first Outreach Session during the second day of the G-7 su...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, speaks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the first Outreach Session during the second day of the G-7 summit meetings in Shima, Japan, May 27, 2016. (Jim Watson, Pool Photo via AP)

Leaders from left, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chad President Idriss Deby Itno, Japanese Prime Minister Shinz...

Leaders from left, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chad President Idriss Deby Itno, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Francois Hollande and Indonesian Persident Joko Widodo, leave a space for U.S. President Barack Obama, as they wait for him to arrive for a photo session with other G-7 leaders and Outreach Partners in Shima, Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016, during the G-7 Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim as he arrives to attend the Outreach Session of the G-7 summit, Friday...

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, shakes hands with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim as he arrives to attend the Outreach Session of the G-7 summit, Friday, May 27, 2016, in Shima, Japan. (Manan Vatsyayana, Pool Photo via AP)

European Council President Donald Tusk, second left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second right, gather to participate in a G-7 Working Session in Shi...

European Council President Donald Tusk, second left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second right, gather to participate in a G-7 Working Session in Shima, Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016, during the G-7 Summit. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

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