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Japan lagged behind others in the initial efforts to put the Paris agreement last December into action to combat climate change. Now the nation needs to redouble its work toward the pact’s goal of an effectively zero emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by the latter half of the century. Tokyo’s failure to ratify the deal before the pact entered into force in early November with the endorsement by dozens of other signatories will be no problem if it can indeed play leading roles in the long and steady international efforts to contain climate change — which need to start today for them to be effective in fighting the man-made rise in global temperatures.

The first meeting of parties to the Paris accord — held during the COP 22 United Nations conference on climate change in Marrakesh, Morocco — ended by agreeing to draw up by 2018 a rule book to implement steps under the agreement to fight global warming. Japan took part in the meeting as an observer without voting rights since its ratification of the accord earlier this month was not in time for it to be officially counted as a party to the deal at the gathering. It was after it became certain that the accord will enter into force that the Abe administration submitted a legislation for its ratification to the Diet.

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