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Sweden and Japan agree on climate cooperation

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Sweden and Japan agree on climate cooperation
14:43 CEST+02:00
Japan and Sweden on Wednesday pledged to step up cooperation on tackling climate change during a visit by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The Swedish premier said he agreed with Japanese counterpart Yasuo Fukuda on the need for major emitters of greenhouse gases to be included in any international agreement on curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

Japan's leading position in energy efficiency and its similar view to Sweden on fighting global warming "make it very important to have a close cooperation regarding climate change," he added.

Fukuda stressed the importance of the talks between Japan -- which will host the Group of Eight summit in July -- and Sweden, which will assume the European Union presidency in the second half of 2009.

He said the two leaders "confirmed cooperation on various issues facing the international community, such as climate change and peace-building."

Japan, home of the Kyoto Protocol, hopes the G8 summit will give direction to negotiations on drafting the next global treaty on fighting climate change by the end of 2009.

Kyoto's commitments to curb harmful gas emissions run out in 2012.

Fast-growing emitters such as China and India had no obligations under Kyoto, leading the United States to boycott the treaty.

Reinfeldt also made a courtesy call on Emperor Akihito as part of his four-day official visit.

Sweden is not a member of the G8, which groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

However, cooperation with the European Union is seen as key to Japan's hopes of taking a leading role in tackling climate change.

But Tokyo has been cautious about an EU-led proposal for further binding cuts in CO2 emissions, stressing the need to bring developing countries on board.

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