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Page added on August 30, 2009

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Japan's Yukio Hatoyama and Climate Change

Good news, potentially, for those of us who’ve been looking to Japan for more leadership in the lead-up to Copenhagen: today’s landslide for the Democratic Party of Japan means that Yukio Hatoyama will be the next prime minister.

Hatoyama is no radical outsider, but he has promised “revolutionary change” and is a strong advocate for the idea that Japan’s best hope for the future can be found in building a bright green economy.
He has promoted green technology and renewable energy (albeit with a regrettably heavy focus on nuclear power), talked about making Japan’s cities more livable and, perhaps most importantly, has pledged real action on climate change: a 25 percent cut in Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (below 1990 levels).

Though he has also pledged to cut the gas tax and highway tolls, that target puts Japan near the forefront of the climate debate. “I want Japan, as a leading technological power, to show more leadership,” Hatoyama says.


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