G-8 leaders presented with $1,000 sake cupsJuly 6th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS
Toyako (Japan), July 6 (DPA) The Group of Eight (G-8) leaders attending a summit here in Japan are receiving gifts of intricate lacquered sake cups engraved with their initials and with a retail value of $1,000 each. The small wooden cups, measuring 8.2 cm in diameter and eight centimetres in height, were used for the toast at the summit’s banquet in this Hokkaido island city Sunday.
Lacquer, known as “Urushi” in Japanese, is a resinous substance obtained from certain trees and used as a natural varnish.
Its makers stressed the gift’s environmentally friendly properties as leaders prepared to discuss ways to tackle climate change.
Each sake cup features green leaves symbolising nature and one of the G-8 leaders’ initials at its centre. The initials of the other G-8 participants feature on its internal rim. Each cup is so intricate that it can take more than one year to make.
A limited edition of 300 samples was being offered on sale for $1,000 each.
The G-8 leaders attending the summit are Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, US President George W. Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Premier Stephen Harper, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission.
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