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Japan Ratifies Treaty to Cut Gases

June 4, 2002

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TOKYO (AP) _ Japan ratified the international accord aimed at cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases and urged the United States and other countries to join efforts to fight global warming.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Cabinet gave final approval to the Kyoto Protocol, which passed the upper and lower houses of Parliament last month.

The 15 European Union countries formally signed the Kyoto Protocol on Friday. It was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to stem pollution and global warming. The Bush administration angered much of the world by rejecting the pact, calling it flawed.

Koizumi urged other nations, including the United States, to ratify the treaty.

``In order to ensure the effectiveness of measures against global warming, it is essential that all countries make efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,″ Koizumi said in a statement. ``Japan will make its utmost efforts to set common rules so that all nations, including the United States and developing countries, can take part.″

To take effect, the Kyoto accord must be ratified by at least 55 countries, but those ratifying must include industrialized nations responsible for at least 55 percent of the 1990 emissions levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. More than 70 countries have ratified the treaty, but the 55 percent mark has not been reached.

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