Emissions data put Kyoto target in doubt

Japan emitted 1.329 billion tons of greenhouse gases in fiscal 2004, up 7.4 percent from the benchmark year of 1990 set under the Kyoto Protocol, the Environment Ministry announced Friday.

The reading indicates that it will be difficult for Japan to meet its obligation to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6 percent by 2012 from 1990 levels.

Carbon dioxide emissions edged down 0.8 percent in fiscal 2004 from the previous year, partly due to increased utilization rates at nuclear power plants, the ministry said.

Emissions of the gas in the industrial sector dropped 1.1 percent.