The government will hold a couple of meetings Saturday on climate change in the Lake Toya hot-spring resort area in Hokkaido to build momentum for the success of the Group of Eight summit here in July. ( Kyodo )
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who will chair the summit, and ministers in charge of environmental issues are in the town of Toyako in the northernmost Japanese prefecture. This is the first visit by Fukuda to the town since taking office last September.
Fukuda, Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari are to attend the second meeting of the premier's panel of experts on global warming and then a public dialogue meeting later in the day.
At the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa - the main venue of the summit - the panel will hold discussions on ways to realize a low-carbon society in Japan.
The panel, led by Senior Adviser of Toyota Motor Corp. Hiroshi Okuda, is aiming to outline a basic direction that should be taken by Japan in mitigating climate change before the government hosts the G-8 summit from July 7 to 9.
On Saturday, in a bid to accelerate discussions and help coordinate policies within the government, members of the panel are expected to give a green light to setting up a subcommittee tasked with delving into details of an emissions trading system and environmental taxes, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Prior to the panel meeting, Fukuda will visit the village of Rusutsu to check the construction progress of the international media center for the summit.
Construction of the center, located about 27 kilometers from the hotel, is scheduled to be completed in late May.
In the afternoon, the government will hold the dialogue meeting with the general public.
Kamoshita and Amari will present Japan's medium- and long-term efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the expanded use of renewable energy and the development of innovative technologies.