Our Hero, Teijiro
After months of ambivalence, the Japanese government is poised to seek ratification of the Kyoto treaty on climate change. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Teijiro Furukawa plans to meet later this month with other senior government officials to make arrangements for a vote on ratification, which will probably be introduced during a regular Diet session beginning in January. To date, no major industrialized country has ratified Kyoto, which cannot take effect unless ratifying developed countries account for more than 55 percent of the industrialized world’s emissions. Now that the U.S. (the world’s biggest producers of greenhouse gases) has declined to participate, Japan and the European Union must ratify Kyoto for it to come into force. Climate analysts don’t think President Bush will reconsider his decision to go it alone on climate change, despite his quest to build international cooperation for the fight against terrorism.