TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
plans to pledge more than $1.8 billion in loans for
environmental projects in Asia during a meeting of East Asian
leaders next week, a newspaper reported on Friday.
Japan's top government spokesman confirmed that Tokyo was
working on a plan for Fukuda to unveil at a November 21 summit
in Singapore, at which some of the world's biggest greenhouse
gas emitters including China and India will be present.
Japan would allocate 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) to
finance environmental projects such as sewage disposal and
scrubbing of sulphur dioxide from power plant chimneys, the
Nikkei financial daily said.
Japan, as host to next year's Group of Eight summit, where
global warming is expected to be a top agenda item, is keen to
be seen taking leadership on environmental issues.
But Japan, the world's fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter
and the only country in Asia with a Kyoto Protocol target, is
itself still far from hitting its goal.
Japan's emissions last year were still 13 percent above the
average level of greenhouse gas emissions that it must meet
over the next five years, a recent government report showed.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Mike Miller)