Leaders of the world’s most developed economies are likely to clash over economic policy at the G7 summit in Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is demanding the countries should take action to boost global demand by relaxing monetary policy and increasing measures such as quantitative easing.
Although Abe pronounced Japan, the US, Canada, Italy, France and most of the European Union support his views, he deliberately left the UK and Germany out.
Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both cautioned Abe that austerity and balancing the books is the way forward rather than borrowing or printing cash to solve the world’s economic problems.
Stock markets spooked
Merkel and others in Germany have all voiced that they believe Germany is doing enough to aid the world economy and point to taking in a million refugees to stimulate the economy as just one of their measures.
The US Federal Reserve has thrown stock markets and businesses into confusion on the eve of the summit as well.
Minutes of earlier meetings indicate the fed is ready to hike interest rates again in June – and that the rise will probably be the first of at least two before the end of the year.
The news spooked money men and saw stocks around the world plunge wiping billions off the value of companies.
The G7 summit will be chaired by Abe on May 26 and 27 in the city of Ise-Shima.
The city sits in the ring of fire volcano and earthquake belt and much of the surrounding area has suffered from severe seismic activity earlier this year.
Although tackling the faltering global economy is high on the agenda, world leaders will also discuss climate change, foreign policy and world trade.
Key discussions will focus on the Chinese economy, terrorism, nuclear weapon development in North Korea and civil strife in The Ukraine, Yemen and Syria.
After the summit, US President Barack Obama will spend some extra time in Japan which will include the first visit by a serving president to Hiroshima, one of the cities devastated by atomic bombs at the end of the Second World War with the loss of thousands of lives.