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Cablegate: Pm-Elect Hatoyama Announces Stricter Greenhouse Gas

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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6042
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0164
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6866
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3587

UNCLAS TOKYO 002067

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/SECC - TODD STERN AND JONATHAN PERSHING
EAP/J - VIRGINIA MURRAY AND HEATHER DRESSER
IO, G
OES/EGC - TRIGG TALLEY, EDWARD FENDLEY, NORMAN BARTH, CHRISTO
ARTUSIO, WENDELA MOORE, AND AMANDA VOCKERODT
PASS TO USAID
USDOC FOR NOAA CLIMATE CHANGE OFFICE - SID THURSTON
WHITE HOUSE FOR CEQ - NANCY SUTLEY
USDOE FOR S-3 - ROBERT MARLAY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG PREL KGHG JA
SUBJECT: PM-ELECT HATOYAMA ANNOUNCES STRICTER GREENHOUSE GAS
TARGETS

REF: (A) TOKYO 1319; (B) TOKYO 1218; (C) TOKYO 683; (D) 08 TOKYO
3270

1. (SBU) Summary: Prime Minister-Elect Hatoyama, on September 7,
called for a new target of reducing Japan's greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions by 25 percent by 2020, from 1990 levels. The goal is far
more ambitious than the proposal put forth by former PM Aso in June
and approximately double the pledged emissions cuts from the U.S. or
the EU. The move appears to have been made without substantial
consultations with Japanese ministries, which have expressed mixed
reactions. The response from businesses -- which opposed previous
GHG cuts -- has been muted so far. End Summary.

2. (U) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President and Japan's
PM-elect Yukio Hatoyama stated his intention to drastically increase
the target of reducing Japan's GHG emissions to 25 percent by 2020
(from a 1990 baseline), during remarks at the World Economy Forum in
Tokyo September 7. The new target, equivalent to about a 30 percent
cut from 2005 levels, far exceeds the 15 percent reduction (from
2005 levels) called for by former PM Aso (Ref A). It is also about
double the emissions reductions proposed by the U.S. or the EU for
the same time period. The new target, which was included in the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)'s election manifesto (Ref D), would
be contingent upon an agreement by all major emitters on "ambitious"
reduction goals.

3. (SBU) The PM-elect called on developing nations to make efforts
to curb greenhouse gas emissions under the principle of common but
differentiated responsibilities. He added that he intends to launch
a "Hatoyama Initiative," which would provide a mechanism for
developed nations to provide financial and technical support to
developing nations that aggressively try to cut emissions and to
give adaptation assistance to vulnerable developing countries.
Hatoyama said he will provide more details of his plan at the
September 22 UN Secretary-General's Climate Change Summit in New
York. A mid-level Foreign Ministry official suggested the GOJ would
need to present the proposal before the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change Working Group (AWG-LCA) session in Bangkok, which
starts September 28, to have a chance of including it in the
Copenhagen agreement.

4. (SBU) Reaction within the GOJ varied by ministry, with Ministry
of Environmental officials telling Post they would try hard to
implement the new target and MOFA Vice Minister Yabunaka stating at
a September 7 press conference that it would be excellent if the DPJ
target would help Japan to take a leadership role in international
negotiations. However, Vice Minister Mochizuki, METI's top career
official, said at a September 7 news conference that Hatoyama,
"needs to be aware that he is choosing a very tough road ahead for
the Japanese people and economy." Several mid-level GOJ employees
told econoffs that Hatoyama's announcement came as a surprise since
their offices had not been consulted in advance.

5. (SBU) Thus far, the response from the Japanese business
federation Nippon Keidanren has been conspicuously muted. The group
had resisted the far laxer 15 percent reduction proposal adopted by
former PM Aso in June (Ref A). A spokesman said Keidanren would ask
the DPJ for an explanation of Hatoyama's remarks. A Nippon Steel
Corporation contact told us his company is promoting sectoral-based
as opposed to nation-specific targets, a view common in Japan's
heavy industry, which is the most efficient in the world.

6. (SBU) The Japanese offices of international and domestic
environmental NGOS greeted Hatoyama's remarks enthusiastically. An
official of the Japanese NGO Kiko Network described it as an
important step toward Copenhagen. A World Wildlife Fund contact
told us she was exhilarated by Hatoyama's speech.

ROOS

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