Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 176 (February 17, 2005)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
Eight years after it was adopted at the Kyoto International Conference Hall in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, entered into force yesterday on February 16. A commemorative event was held at the very same hall, and the people from around the world who had put in time and effort to finalize the document attended this event, joined by members of the public. I also took part via teleconference from my office.
Many of our daily activities generate carbon dioxide, which is one of the greenhouse gases that are said to be a major factor in global warming. If emissions of greenhouse gases continue at the current rate the impact of those emissions will resonate around the globe, impacting the lives of people today and also future generations.
Ever since the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, Japan has been prominent in calling on other countries for its entry into force at the earliest date possible. Now that this goal has been realized, it is with a glad heart that I welcome the Protocol as a framework for the world to cooperate in efforts to prevent global warming.
Japan is determined to lead the world in promoting measures against global warming. We have advanced environmental technologies such as solar energy generation, fuel cells and low-emission vehicles, and will contribute to the prevention of global warming by sharing these technologies with other countries.
There still are countries, such as the United States, that emit high levels of greenhouse gas and have yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Others, such as China and India, are exempted from emission reduction targets. Japan will endeavor to convince more countries to join and work together under a common framework to prevent global warming.
Japan obliged itself to reduce its level of greenhouse gas emissions by six percent from the 1990 level in the five-year period from 2008 to 2012. Emissions in 2002, however, marked an increase of eight percent, making our target even higher at approximately 14 percent in total.
It is no easy task for Japan to meet its reduction target. We have already succeeded in switching all official government vehicles to low-emission vehicles over a three-year period, and in a similar manner the government will continue to take the initiative in implementing measures and support the individual efforts of each citizen as we expand the scope of our activities for the prevention of global warming.
The entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol signifies a great step forward for the prevention of global warming. Let us cooperate with all the people of the world to preserve our precious earth for our children and our children's children.
* The title of this column "Lion Heart" is a reference to the Prime Minister's lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform.
- Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Participates in the
Commemorative Event to Mark the Entry into Force of the Kyoto
Protocol (February 16, 2005)
- Japan-Papua New Guinea Summit Meeting (February 14, 2005)
- Prime Minister Koizumi visits Sapporo City in Hokkaido
(February 10 to 11, 2005)
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