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Concerning the Jan. 3 article “Japan lags as Kyoto pact’s action period begins”: This article is very misleading and is therefore consistent with the Japanese government’s policy of double-speak on the issue of Japan’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

Instead of honestly confronting this country’s failure thus far to make progress toward its promises under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, the government is more interested in using evasive language and other subterfuge in an attempt to save face leading up to the Group of Eight summit in Hokkaido this summer and beyond.

An unambiguous explanation of Japan’s real challenge would be the following: As of March 2007, Japan’s greenhouse-gas emissions were up 6.4 percent over 1990 levels.

Accordingly, Japan needs to make legitimate cuts to its greenhouse-gas emissions amounting to some 12.4 percent over the next five years.

patrick hattman