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NGO media centers to be set up (June 2, 2008)

The G8 Citizens Media Center Sapporo Executive Committee announced during a press conference held on June 2 at the Hokkaido Government Office Building that Citizens Media Center (CMC) sites will be set up at three Sapporo locations, including one at the former Sapporo Guest House in Toyohira Ward's Hiragishi district, for the Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July.

The CMCs are designed for use as press conference sites for bodies not affiliated with the main part of the media, such as smaller groups and NGOs, to release news through the internet and community radio. The centers are scheduled to be available from late June, when domestic and overseas NGOs will visit Hokkaido. A committee official commented, "We want the centers to act as mouthpieces to announce the voice of Asia to the world in a way appropriate for a Summit held in Asia."

The former Sapporo Guest House, the Clark Memorial Student Center and a private building in Sapporo's Chuo-ku (North 3 West 17) have been chosen as the sites for the centers, to be used for press conferences, editing work and meetings.

The official agreement for the use of the former Sapporo Guest House, which is managed by the City of Sapporo, is expected to be finalized after the middle of June due to ongoing negotiations with neighboring residents. Committee authorities explained the official announcement of the house as a location before the formal contract had been finalized by pointing out the need to notify international citizen media of the sites.

The former Sapporo Guest House was constructed in 1990 as an accommodation facility for overseas researchers, and was closed at the end of March due a decline in the occupancy rate.

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