Joining a barrage of criticism from around the world, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori sent a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday warning against Washington’s decision to pull out of the 1997 Kyoto climate change treaty, designed to stave off global warming.

In response to Thursday’s announcement by Washington that the United States will ditch the Kyoto Protocol, Mori expressed in the letter Tokyo’s “serious concern” over possible consequences that the U.S. decision would have on global climate change, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said.

In the letter, Mori urged the U.S. to participate in the next United Nations conference on climate change, which will be held in July in Germany, and work with the rest of the world to agree on concrete steps to fulfill the protocol, Fukuda said.

Mori also called for “efficacious cooperation” between Tokyo and Washington to continue to tackle global warming issues, the top government spokesman told reporters. Foreign Minister Yohei Kono asked Cabinet members Friday to “make Japan’s position clear on the issue,” Fukuda said.

Environmentalists say the U.S. has just 6 percent of the world’s population yet produces more than a quarter of the globe’s greenhouse gases.

Under the Kyoto treaty, the U.S would have to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and certain other pollutants by 7 percent from 1990 levels by 2012.

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