Just days before the new year, Gov. Yuriko Koike revealed the Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy, the capital's long-awaited plan to eliminate carbon emissions, transition to renewable energy and take the lead in the fight against global warming.

"Around the world, we see that cities are taking the lead in the fight against climate change. ...Whether it's at the national level or through municipalities, we need to take action or it will be too late," Koike said at a news conference earlier this month. "As a huge contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, Tokyo needs to do what it can to set the standard for the rest of the world."

Experts praised the metropolitan government for using decisive language, taking the initiative to address its comparatively large contribution to global warming, and aligning itself with the 2015 Paris agreement, but they questioned the plan's flexibility amid the escalating climate crisis and wondered whether the city plans to engage residents at the community level or negotiate with big corporations as in the past.