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Uniform targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions should not be implemented despite proposals to set such targets by Europe and Japan, Australian business leaders said during a three-day joint meeting of the Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committees, which ended Oct. 15 in Tokyo.A total of 367 business leaders from both countries participated in the 35th joint meeting, which was sponsored by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Discussion focused on business cooperation, especially in countries such as China and Indonesia, and measures to reduce tariff barriers and cope with energy and global warming issues, according to Hiroshi Saito, chairman of Nippon Steel Corporation and leader of the Japanese delegation.At a press conference after the meeting, John Ralph, leader of the Australian delegation and chairman of Foster’s Brewing Group Ltd., said there had been much discussion of the issue of global warming, and the meeting had criticized the European proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 to 15 percent lower than 1990 levels.Ralph said it is impossible to achieve such a target, and the figure is unfair for some countries such as Japan and Australia which have long been making efforts to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. He stressed the importance of recognizing the principle of differentiation by considering each country’s circumstances when setting reduction targets.”Reduction of greenhouse gases must be seriously taken up by business communities and by society … but there needs to be an equitable approach,” he said. In addition, he said that even the 5 percent reduction target proposed by the Japanese government cannot be achieved without building an additional 20 nuclear power plants by 2010, and added that the public should be aware of these facts.

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