G7 finance ministers meet to discuss fiscal policy, currencies and other global risks. As Kirsty Basset reports, they may shy away from discussing another key risk to the grouping: their failure to agree on any major policy initiatives.
The finance chiefs of some of the world's most powerful economies meet in Japan. Their mission - how to boost stagnant global growth. Which some say hasn't been helped by a divergence between the Federal Reserve's lifting of rates - and other central banks holding rates at record lows. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE SAYING: "Actually achieving some sort of coordination and agreement on how we move forward both on monetary and fiscal side is going to be very very important." U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says they need to discuss the risks facing the global economy - and the tools available to deal with them. But each country will likely have different views on what tools should be used, and how. Japan and the U.S. remain at loggerheads over exchange rate policy, with the U.S. signalling Tokyo is not justified in intervening in the market to stem yen gains. And Japan and the U.S. have called on Germany to boost fiscal stimulus. So far Germany's showed no sign of a response, but did warn of the dangers of loose monetary policy following years of aggressive money printing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE SAYING: "It's really the central banks that are running the world economy with either zero or negative interest rates. How long they can carry on, sort of carrying the boat along if you like is a real question mark." But if Japan calls for stronger action using monetary, fiscal tools and structural reforms - catered to each country's individual needs - G7 officials have signalled they won't object.