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por Stuart McWilliam, Coordinador de Campañas, Oxfam Japón --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hoy me encuentro en Sapporo, Japón, adonde puedo ver helicópteros sobrevolando el área.

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Today is the last day before the G8 summit begins and I am once again faced with the eternal wisdom: “When you’re doing a public performance, do not use animals, children or balloons”.

At first it seemed like a good idea to have a thousand balloons on the square in front of the Sapporo Convention Center, representing one million wishes sent from people around the world asking for an end to poverty, as part of the Japanese tanabata festival. As we soon found out: concrete and balloons don’t mix.

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Today, I’m in Sapporo, Japan, where I can see helicopters circling the area. Policemen and reporters are everywhere: the G8 leaders must be coming to town!

G8 countries are trying to cope with increasing oil prices, food inflation and a slowdown of their economies, but the poor are worse off. As the G8 leaders meet from 7-9 July, Oxfam will be calling on them to make poverty issuescentral to their discussions. But to reach that goal, we need to do some campaigning!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OfOj2IeTeY]

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One of the most important things about campaigning is making sure that our voices get heard by the people making decisions.

On June 18, Oxfam made sure that the Japanese leader Prime Minister Fukuda heard our G8 campaign wishes at a meeting held with GCAP, Japanese organisations and Oxfam International’s Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs.

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Natalia Alonso
Oxfam International
Head of Oxfam's European Union office