• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Union leaders agreed Tuesday that the world’s greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 50 percent or more by 2050, but Abe stopped short of pushing specific numerical targets to that end.

In a joint statement after the Japan-EU summit, Abe, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the European Council president, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, committed themselves to taking the lead on setting a new international framework to fight climate change. They also reconfirmed their goal of a denuclearized North Korea.

The three met in Berlin just ahead of the Group of Eight leaders’ summit beginning Wednesday in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.

With the climate issue high on the agenda of the G8 summit, the leaders noted that a new approach is needed to ensure the participation of all major emitters of greenhouse gases, including the United States, China and India, in a new framework to fight global warming from 2013.

The current Kyoto Protocol requires industrialized countries to cut emissions by an average of 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. But the U.S. has refused to ratify it.

While siding with the 50 percent long-term reduction target promoted chiefly by the EU, however, Abe indicated to reporters after the talks that he would not stick to setting a numerical target at the G8 summit. The U.S. is expected to oppose such a target.

Abe, Bush touch base

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (Kyodo) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks Wednesday with U.S. President George W. Bush in Heiligendamm, Germany, focusing on the North Korean nuclear arms, missile and abduction issues as well as climate change and further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

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