Japan's New Environment Min. Koizumi Makes Diplomatic Debut

Politics

New York, Sept. 22 (JIji Press)--Japan's new Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi made his diplomatic debut on Sunday, taking part in related international meetings in New York.

During a meeting held at the U.N. headquarters, the highly popular Japanese politician joked on and off without reading a prepared English text of his speech. At the same time, he underscored Japan's determination to lead the world in discussions on the fight against climate change.

Noting in the speech that the Tokyo metropolitan government and the western Japan city of Kyoto have announced their respective goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to effectively zero by 2050, Koizumi revealed that an official of Yokohama, a major city in eastern Japan, offered to follow suit after being asked by him before the meeting which Japanese municipality is expected to come next.

The rookie minister touted this as one of the results he has achieved in his first 10 days in office.

In this regard, Eriko Yakushiji, head of Yokohama's headquarters for the fight against global warming, said, "Right ahead of the U.N. meeting, Minister Koizumi asked me if it's OK for him to mention in his speech in the session that he has successfully persuaded the city, and I said yes."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press