G7 concerned over emerging markets; PM Abe makes Lehman comparison

ISE-SHIMA, Japan (Reuters) - Group of Seven leaders voiced concern on Thursday about emerging economies, a senior Japanese official said, as their host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a pointed comparison to the global financial crisis. "G7 leaders voiced the view that emerging economies are in a severe situation, although there were views that the current economic situation is not a crisis," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told reporters after during the first day of a two-day G7 summit in Ise-Shima, central Japan. Abe told the group that they shared the view on the risks to the global economy, Seko said. Abe presented the G7 documents showing International Monetary Fund data that global commodities prices fell 55 percent from June 2014 to January 2016, the same margin as from July 2008 to February 2009, in the wake of the Lehman collapse, Seko said. Abe has pledged to raise Japan's sales tax to 10 percent from 8 percent in April next year as planned, unless there is a financial crisis on the scale of the Lehman collapse or a major natural disaster. (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Nick Macfie)