In a rare meeting Wednesday with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, representatives from environmental organizations urged the government to go ahead with an international agreement to cut greenhouse gases with or without the participation of the United States.

Koizumi urged the NGO members not to give up on the U.S. resuming negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol, the international accord on greenhouse gas reduction agreed to in Kyoto in December 1997, representatives from Kiko Network told reporters.

The meeting marked the first time a prime minister has met with NGO members to discuss global warming.

During the 15 minute talk at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, NGO members said Japan could play a major role in bridging gaps between the European Union and the U.S., which disavowed the protocol in March, and called on Koizumi to announce that Japan will push ahead with greenhouse gas reductions under the document independently if necessary.

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