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Asia’s first mandatory program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, launched last week by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, could provide a much-needed model for the central government, which is struggling to design a nationwide emissions trading system this year.

Under the leadership of Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo aims to slash its carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gas emissions by 25 percent compared with 2000 levels by 2020. The program caps energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from some 1,330 offices and factories in the capital and allows for trading of emissions credits.

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