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Japan and the European Union agreed Wednesday to continue urging the United States to participate in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to prevent global warming, Foreign Ministry officials said.

During a 15-minute telephone conversation, Chris Patten, EU external affairs commissioner, told Foreign Minister Yohei Kono that cooperation to realize common goals in political and economic fields is essential.

Kono emphasized the need to maintain U.S. involvement in multilateral efforts, including the Kyoto Protocol, scheduled to come into force by 2002.

U.S. President George W. Bush announced late last month that Washington would withdraw from the pact, which legally binds industrialized countries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

The phone conversation between Kono and Patten was part of regular contact between Japan and the EU to exchange views on bilateral and international issues, the officials said.

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