July 3, 2001 – On 30 June at Camp David, Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi promised US President George W. Bush that at the moment Japan would not proceed the Kyoto climate treaty without the US and offered to set up a US-Japan bilateral talk to propose a compromise to the world. Subsequently his cabinet members revealed that Japan was going to propose the revision of the treaty text including further weakening the targets and delaying the action.

As the Premier repeats Japan’s commitment to the treaty and claims that without the US the environmental effectiveness of the treaty would diminish, he himself contradicts with his words. Since March the US administration and President Bush himself have been very clear that the US will not participate any agreement that has mandatory emission cuts and doesn’t impose commitments on developing countries. Weakening the targets and delaying action won’t help global environment nor bringing back the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter back into the treaty table. Nor these changes would help convince developing countries to join the accord in the future.

As his national reform plan announced last month also demonstrates the same low priority given to the environment, Prime Minister Koizumi’s failure to stand up against President Bush’s narrow view of economic interests demonstrates his lack of understanding the magnitude of this global environmental crisis, said Friends of the Earth Japan campaigner Yuri Onodera.

The world citizens including majority Japanese and Americans want to see Japan and other industrial countries take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions immediately. By offering President Bush and his oil industry friends more concessions Prime Minister risks global environment and will have to face serious criticism from the world and within the country, Onodera said.

The Kyoto climate treaty was adapted at the UN conference held at the same name of an ancient city in Japan in 1997 and stipulates legally binding emissions cuts by industrial nations. In March the US administration announced to reject the treaty, but European nations and Russia expressed the intention to proceed ratification and press the US to come back later rather than abandoning the treaty with a decade long negotiation.

Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Kiko Network and other environmental organizations are calling to send messages to Prime Minister Koizumi for Japan to ratify the treaty regardless of the United States.

You can send a message from:

Yuri Onodera, Friends of the Earth Japan
Email Energy@foejapan.org
Tel +81-3-3951-1081