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Sapporo urged to provide NGO campground (May 2, 2008)

The Sapporo International Exchange Camp Executive Preparation Council yesterday asked Sapporo authorities to set up a campsite in the city to host NGOs from other countries during July's Hokkaido Toyako Summit.

According to the council, which is comprised of civil groups in Sapporo and Tokyo, a campground that can accommodate 2,000 people is needed as a base for international NGOs. These areas have generally been prepared by local communities for recent summit meetings, such as last year's event in Germany where a campsite for around 10,000 people was set up. The council has called for the city's cooperation in arranging such a base for international exchange.

At the 2001 Genoa Summit in Italy, hundreds of thousands of civil activists gathered and slept in parks and other open-air areas, with some intruding into public facilities. The establishment of campsites has the advantage of preventing such potential issues.

However, the council's request for the site to be provided free of charge is expected to create local opposition to spending municipal funds on the project.

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