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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 07:05 GMT
Japan PM launches green policies
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

Yasuo Fukuda addressing Japan's parliament, 18/01
Mr Fukuda faces difficulties in passing legislation
Japan's prime minister says he wants to promote a shift to a low-carbon society in his country which he hopes will set a precedent for the rest of the world.

Yasuo Fukuda plans to designate 10 environmental model-cities which will work hard to reduce greenhouse gases.

He made the comments in his policy address to the parliament in Tokyo.

Mr Fukuda, who has had a difficult time since his party lost control of the upper house, made a plea for lawmakers to put the public's interests first.

He set out plans for Japan to become a world leader in efforts to convert to a low-carbon society.

His government has been criticised for aligning itself with the US and rejecting tough targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

But in his address to Japan's parliament, Mr Fukuda tried to argue he could make a difference.

He said Japan would develop new technologies that would help to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Cities would be chosen to test new methods for reducing carbon emissions.

He promised financial aid to help developing countries bring in measures to deal with damage caused by the heating up of the planet.

He did not reveal any new plans to help Japan meet the target for cutting emissions under the Kyoto protocol over the next few years though.

So far the government's efforts do not seem to be working.

And he acknowledged another problem he faces - the opposition controls the upper house which makes it hard for him to push through any changes which require new legislation.

He appealed to opposition MPs to work with him to improve life for people in Japan.

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