With only a few days to go until the Group of Eight summit gets under way in Hokkaido, Japanese diplomats were still struggling to find ways to achieve progress — no matter how small — over last year’s G8 gathering.

The central issue this time around will be climate change, but sharp disagreements remain over whether any goals should be set for each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Foreign Ministry officials have indicated there is scant reason to think numerical targets will be set.

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