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Japan to set reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by June

  • 2015-02-17 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: February 14, 2015 – p. 2)


 Japan is lagging behind in international negotiations on measures to prevent global warming. Tokyo launched discussions on a setting a reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions last fall. However, the government has set a deadline for disclosing its specific target in June. This means that Japan will be unable to set its reduction target by March, which is the deadline set by the United Nations. Attention is now focused on whether Japan’s target will compare favorably with those that have already been disclosed by the United States and Europe.


 “If Japan does nothing, it will become isolated,” former Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara said in a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party on global warming on Feb. 10. Since 2011 when the nuclear accident occurred at Tokyo Electric Power Corp.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the prospects for the reactivation of nuclear power plants have been murky. Therefore, discussions on a reduction target have not made much progress in Japan. However, since international negotiations have been pushed forward, there is a growing sense of alarm in Japan.


 With an eye on the unified local election in April, the government and ruling coalition have decided on the "best mix" of power sources including renewable energy and nuclear power, and they intend to disclose Japan’s reduction target in June when the G-7 summit and preparatory meeting for global warming negotiations will be held.


 The prevalent view in the government is: “We can’t let Prime Minister Abe go to the Summit without Japan’s reduction target.” Since Japan is required to take on Japan’s fair share of the burden as the world’s fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter, the government plans to hold discussions on how far it can go in setting a reduction target.

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