The Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake jointly demanded Oct. 8 that Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto withdraw Japan’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 5 percent from 1990 levels.The two parties, saying they were not consulted on the proposal until it was announced Oct. 6, demanded a tougher target. The SDP, a non-Cabinet ally of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party along with Sakigake, has become increasingly more hostile toward Hashimoto’s LDP.SDP chief Takako Doi and Sakigake leader Akiko Domoto visited Hashimoto and submitted a written request for the 5 percent emissions target to be withdrawn. The two parties agreed to make the joint demand at a regular meeting of their top members.The 5 percent target, which would also be affected by nations’ individual circumstances, is enough to save the planet, Domoto told reporters after the meeting. The request submitted by Doi and Domoto said Tokyo’s proposal is being criticized by other countries, and that it conflicts with Hashimoto’s speech to the United Nations special session on the environment in June in New York. Hashimoto said Japan will try its utmost to make the international conference on global warming in Kyoto in December successful.It also criticizes the government for determining the target without consulting the ruling alliance or the public. Japan’s proposal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions calls for a 5 percent cut as the “base reduction rate” from 1990 levels for industrial countries in the period between 2008 and 2012.The SDP and Sakigake want the target for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to be set at 12 percent. The U.N. conference on climate change in Kyoto is intended to set legally binding targets for industrialized countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that are believed to cause global warming.

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