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With a key international conference on climate change less than four months away, Japan is stepping up diplomatic efforts to resolve sharp differences among the industrialized and developing countries over reductions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases widely blamed for global warming.

Japan will hold informal high-level talks with some other major industrialized economies on the issue in Tokyo next month and send a high-level mission to Indonesia next month for consultations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, government officials said August 27. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto will also raise the issue of reducing the greenhouse gases with Chinese leaders when he visits Beijing for four days beginning Sept. 4, the officials said, requesting anonymity.

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