Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Germany's Merkel discusses Afghan mission, global warming with Japanese leader

Germany's Merkel discusses Afghan mission, global warming with Japanese leader

The leaders of Germany and Japan pledged to push for a global treaty to slash emissions of greenhouse gases in a summit Wednesday in which they also called for close cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, kicking off a three-day visit to Japan, met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss their battle against global warming, the mission in Afghanistan, and other security issues.
Both countries are promoting a plan to cut emissions of so-called greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2050. Merkel said Japan would take center stage in that effort as host of next year's Group of Eight summit of industrialized countries.
"We still expect difficult negotiations in the time leading up to the next summit hosted by Japan, and we expect the Japanese government to play a very important role," Merkel told reporters in a joint news conference with Abe after the talks.
On security, Abe said he would push to extend Japan's military mission offering refueling and logistical support for forces, including German ships, in the Indian Ocean for the U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan.
The mission expires on Nov. 1.
"In the war against terror, Japan's fueling activity in the Indian Ocean offers key support for the German navy," Abe said. "I explained to the German chancellor that Japan plans to gain opposition understanding of the extension of the support."
Merkel encouraged continued Japanese support in Afghanistan, saying it was important not to back down against terrorists.
"The situation could be difficult, but it is important to clearly show our position as an international community that we will not surrender to terrorist attacks," she said.
Merkel arrived in Japan after a four-day visit to China, where she raised human rights issues along with trade, environmental protection and China's rampant copyright piracy during talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
While in Japan, Merkel also is to visit the ancient capital of Kyoto, where the current protocol limiting greenhouse gas emissions was negotiated 10 years ago _ underlining her push for a new global agreement to combat climate change when that pact expires in 2012.
Merkel, whose country holds the presidency of G-8 this year, has been lobbying for the accord, which nations are to begin negotiating at U.N.-sponsored talks in December. Japan will chair the G-8 next year.
At the German-hosted G-8 summit in June, leaders agreed to "seriously consider" proposals to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2050 _ nonbinding language that was a compromise between the EU, which wants mandatory cuts, and the U.S., which opposes them.
Japan has announced an "Abe Initiative" of short- and long-term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is also calling for a new global warming pact to succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Abe on Wednesday called for a "flexible and diverse" post-Kyoto treaty that would ensure the participation of leading emitters the United States, China and India.
"We agreed to establish a strong framework that would include all the emitter nations," Abe said. "We also discussed support for developing nations in energy efficiency and security."
The United States, a leading emitter of such gases, and Australia, the worst greenhouse-gas polluter per capita, have rejected the Kyoto agreement, saying it would hurt their economies.


Updated : 2021-08-05 08:22 GMT+08:00