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Japan will attempt to build a consensus on a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 but will not propose numerical targets, at an upcoming meeting in Bonn, government officials said July 28.

Senior officials of the Environment Agency, Foreign Ministry and Ministry of International Trade and Industry explained the approach to Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on July 28 ahead of the meeting scheduled to start July 29. Hashimoto said at a news conference after the meeting, “I wonder whether it is a good idea to present Japan’s numerical target at the stage of a working meeting.”

The Bonn meeting is being held in preparation the Third Conference of Parties to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change, or Cop3, scheduled in Kyoto in December. According to government officials, Japan will focus on narrowing gaps in the framework on cutting emissions that most members hope will allow “some sort of differentiated approaches.”

“It would be meaningless to talk about specific numerical targets when we have yet to agree on which framework we are going to use,” one official said. In the December gathering, more than 150 signatory nations will draw up a legally binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after 2000. They have already reached a nonbinding commitment for all industrialized nations to reduce such emissions to 1990 levels by 2000.

With widely differing opinions among member nations, Japan, as host of Cop3, faces the challenge of building an international consensus.

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