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During a meeting with global warming experts on August 27, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said Japan should take the lead in combating global warming.

While Japan will host the third conference of parties to the climate change convention in Kyoto in December, it has not been able to set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mainly because of opposition from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Hashimoto hopes to usher the discussions along by meeting with experts working on measures to reduce emissions of gases, such as carbon dioxide, that contribute to global warming.

The 18 experts, who met August 27 at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, come from different advisory bodies to the prime minister and government and discussed policy options to reduce energy consumption in the industrial, household and transport sectors. Jiro Kondo, former chairman of the Science Council of Japan and chairman of the Central Environmental Council, told reporters at a press briefing after the meeting that the joint council is expected to hold monthly discussions until mid-November, when it hopes to compile recommendations for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

“By that time, the prime minister will have announced the numerical targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions,” Kondo said. “We would like to show practical measures to meet that target.”

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