Photo/IllutrationChief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, second from right, visits the G-20 site with other officials in Osaka on June 22. (Yoshinori Mizuno)

The draft declaration of the Group of 20 summit to be held in Osaka June 28-29 currently includes the phrase “promotion of free trade” to accelerate the powerful growth of the world economy, sources said.

Since the United States, with its "America First" under the Trump administration, would fiercely oppose the wording to fight protectionism, other G-20 members are grappling for ways to bolster free trade in the declaration.

The G-20 declaration will be announced at the end of the summit.

Aides to world leaders discussing the draft are likely to tweak it up until the last minute, the sources said.

The draft's preface focuses on the world economy and portrays technologies such as the digitalization of the economy and “promotion of free trade” as pillars for global growth.

Due to U.S. pressure, a pledge to fight protectionism was omitted from the declaration at last year's summit in Argentina, the first time it was left out since annual summit meetings started in 2008.

Other G-20 members find it difficult to come up with the right language against protectionism in this year’s declaration because of the trade war between the United States and China, the sources said. No such phrase was included in the joint statements of the two meetings of economic ministers held early this month.

Nevertheless, European and other countries worried about the fallout on the global economy from the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies are calling for strong wording against protectionism.

G-20 chair Japan is leading efforts to finalize the draft and clings to the hope that the United States and China will accept the phrase “promotion of free trade” in the declaration.

Japan has been at pains to promote its domestic economic policy in the draft with repeated references to “the virtuous cycle of growth and distribution.” This phrase is often cited by the Abe administration as the ideal of its economic policy, reflecting Japan’s influence on the draft, the sources said.

Japan also mentioned in the draft that creating job opportunities for elderly people and women are central to the cycle, ideas similar to the Japanese government's policies known as the “Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens” and “Women’s Active Participation.”