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Four ministers involved in the upcoming international conference on global warming agreed Oct. 17 that they will cooperate closely with each other to make the meeting successful.Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka said that he and the heads of the Environment Agency and foreign and trade ministries agreed that Japan, as the host nation of the international conference, should take the initiative in forming a world consensus on by what degree greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced. The Third Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP3, is scheduled to be held in Kyoto for 10 days starting Dec. 1.Muraoka urged Mitsuo Horiuchi, head of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and Environment Agency chief Hiroshi Oki to instruct bureaucrats to stop holding antagonistic feelings toward each other due to their policy differences on the issue. MITI officials have said it would be extremely difficult for Japan to achieve the government-proposed 5 percent reduction target in greenhouse gas emissions, while Environment Agency officials have called it rather lenient.Acknowledging that strenuous efforts will be necessary for Japan to achieve the goal, Muraoka suggested that the government boost its educational campaign to let the public understand that considerable efforts will be needed to meet the goal. “If things are left as they are, it is estimated that Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions will be increased by 20 percent in 2010 compared with the gas emissions in 1990.”It will be really hard to meet the goal of the 5 percent cut,” Muraoka told a regularly scheduled press conference. “We would like the public to know that it is difficult, and public cooperation will be indispensable to achieve it.” Muraoka said that Japan’s emissions-curtailing efforts include improving fuel efficiency of cars by 20 percent and creating 20 more nuclear power stations by 2010.

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