On Sept. 7 — shortly before taking over the premiership — Yukio Hatoyama met strong resistance from business circles and from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry when he said at the Asahi Global Environment Forum (sponsored by Asahi Shimbun) that his government would aim for a 25 percent reduction in Japan’s greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020.

Critics of the announcement of this target insisted that it would weaken the international competitive power of Japanese industries, impose heavy burdens on people’s livelihoods and slow down the nation’s economic growth. To those who have specialized in econometrics like myself, it is obvious that these claims have been manipulated by using econometric models.

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