A Continental Summit (全大陸会談, Zen Tairiku Kaidan) is a gathering of representatives from every country on the continent. Each country is specifically represented by its respective daimyō, who themselves are accompanied by any number of personal aides. Exact numbers of attendees is unclear, being described only as “hundreds”. The first Continental Summit is convened in the Land of Iron during Shikamaru Shinden, held in a building constructed in under a week specifically for the Summit. In the amphitheatre where the attendees all meet, the daimyō of the Five Great Shinobi Countries are seated in the first row, the Five Kage are in the second, and in each subsequent row are ten daimyō from one of the smaller countries.
The issue brought before the Continental Summit is whether or not to approve a transfer of fertile lands from the Land of Fire to the Land of Earth. If a simple majority do not approve the transfer, the Land of Earth will invade the neighbouring Land of Flowers, which will cause the allied Land of Lightning to come to Flowers’ defence; the resulting war will consequently destroy the peaceful Shinobi Union, whose members will all find themselves on different sides of the conflict. Each daimyō is to be allowed to address the Summit to speak for or against the land transfer, something that is expected to take hours. The entire Summit is broadcast throughout the continent.
The Continental Summit’s chairman, Mifune, allows the Earth daimyō, Danjō, to speak first. Danjō is in favour of the invasion being allowed to occur. His argument hinges on the idea that shinobi exist only to fight, something they’ve been doing throughout history; an end to peace would therefore restore shinobi to their purpose. The Fire daimyō, Ikkyū Madoka, speaks next. He rejects Danjō’s premise that combat is a shinobi’s only value, and uses the Continental Summit as evidence of this: it was thought up by shinobi, advocated for by shinobi, and has been such an unprecedented undertaking that no one daimyō could have hoped to arrange it. Ikkyū believes that if shinobi truly want peace, it would be irresponsible for the daimyō to force them to break it.
Ikkyū ultimately concludes that it would be better to allow shinobi to speak for themselves, and as such invites the Seventh Hokage to address the Summit. The Hokage acknowledges it is true that shinobi have fought in the past, but insists they always did so in the hopes that the battles would eventually end and that their children could know peace. Like Ikkyū, he disagree with the suggestion that shinobi are defined by war; a shinobi’s knowledge and abilities are just as essential to a shinobi’s existence. In keeping with this, the Hokage announces that Konohagakure will be publicly sharing all its secret intel, a precedent that he hopes others will follow. In the short term, this will correct the imbalance of power that Konoha has created over the years and that inadvertently has motivated the looming war. But in the long term, this will enable shinobi to exist throughout the world, independently of battle. The Hokage’s speech is met with thunderous applause.
As each daimyō takes their chance to speak, many end up agreeing with Ikkyū and the Hokage, with several taking the additional step of condemning Danjō. The only daimyō to not address the Summit is the Flowers’ daimyō; he explains later that, because he’s a mere child only recently given the responsibilities of a daimyō, he did not speak so that his country wouldn’t appear weak. The Fourth Tsuchikage also speaks, and formally accepts the Hokage’s offer of information, in doing so withdrawing Iwagakure’s support for Danjō’s invasion. Although this does not directly affect the outcome of the Continental Summit, invading the Land of Flowers would not be possible without Iwa’s shinobi.
The Continental Summit ultimately approves the territory transfer from the Land of Fire to the Land of Earth.
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