Young people in 117 countries on Friday called on policymakers to take overdue steps against climate change as part of a global strike just days ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit set to begin in New York on Monday.

Affiliated events organized across Japan on Friday drew more than 5,000 participants, the organizers said. In Tokyo, some 2,800 students and environmental activists called on the city to revise its carbon emission reduction goals. They also called on recently appointed Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi to show leadership at the U.N. summit and pursue ambitious policies to protect future generations.

"Disasters caused by climate change are worsening every year," said 16-year-old activist Saori Iwano, a member of Fridays For Future Tokyo, at a news conference on Wednesday. The student environmental group helped organize the march in Tokyo.