A thermal power plant in Aichi Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan proposes to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26% by 2030
Japan said it was proposing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030 as its contribution to a global summit on climate change in Paris later in the year.
The Asahi Shimbun
In compromise, ministries propose 25% reduction target for greenhouse gases
Japan is leaning toward a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030, a ratio that represents a compromise between two ministries but is still below the targets of other industrialized nations.
A sample of microplastics (Provided by Kyushu University professor Atsuhiko Isobe)
Survey discovers microplastic contamination spreading far from coasts
Tiny pieces of plastic are polluting not only waters near coasts but are also spreading into the open oceans, raising the possibility of fish and seabirds ingesting harmful substances, an Environment Ministry survey has found.
The Hinuma area in the town of Ibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture, on April 22 (Satoru Murata)
Four wetlands offered as candidates for Ramsar Convention
Japan has pitched four wetland areas, including one in Ibaraki Prefecture that is home to a rare species of eagle, for recognition under the Ramsar Convention.
Hirono Power Station near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture runs on fossil fuels. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan's fiscal 2013 greenhouse gas emissions highest in 6 years
The nation's total emissions of greenhouse gases for fiscal 2013 increased 1.2 percent from the previous year to 1.408 billion tons, Japan's highest level in six years.
The Asahi Shimbun
Industry ministry seeks renewable energy ratio of 20% to 25% in 2030
The industry ministry rejected a proposal by the Environment Ministry and is calling for renewable energy sources to supply “between 20 and 25 percent” of Japan’s electricity in 2030, sources said April 7.
A coal-fired power plant in Yokohama (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Study: Coal-fired plants to raise Japan’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 6%
Planned operations of coal-fired power plants will increase Japan’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by 5 to 6 percent around 2030, undoing the nation’s previous efforts to combat global warming, an Asahi Shimbun study shows.
Fuel cells installed in the Osaka Central Wholesale Market supply half of the market's electricity needs. (Narumi Ota)
Mega fuel cells provide power to Osaka wholesale market
IBARAKI, Osaka Prefecture--The Osaka Central Wholesale Market now acquires half of its electricity from large megawatt-class fuel cells, the first of their kind in Japan to be put to practical use, according to the prefectural government.
A Lidth's jay in Amami-Oshima Island (Makoto Hokao)
Island seeks to host SDF base and gain World Heritage status
AMAMI, Kagoshima Prefecture--The hopes of this island in southern Japan to host a military base would seem incongruous with efforts to gain World Heritage recognition of its unique ecosystem.
The mirage drift ice observed in the Sea of Okhotsk (Provided by the Shiretoko Museum)
Cryosphere society to pick Japan's top 100 nature views of snow and ice
All threatened by global warming, massive drift ice mirages, frozen waterfalls and "ice monsters" are nominees for a list of Japan's top 100 snow and ice phenomenons.
An Asian brown pond turtle (Provided by the Japan Wildlife Research Center)
Export ban in cards for endangered turtle indigenous to Okinawa
The Environment Ministry said it will ban exports of the Asian brown pond turtle, a species native to islands in southern Japan, in an eleventh hour bid to prevent it going extinct.
The Environment Ministry’s wind power generating facility off Goto, Nagasaki Prefecture (Provided by Toda Corp.)
Surplus in wind power to produce hydrogen for fuel cells
GOTO, Nagasaki Prefecture--An offshore project will get under way here in March to use excess electricity generated from wind to create hydrogen that can fuel local island communities.
Kawasaki Mayor Norihiko Fukuda checks out a hydrogen fuel-cell car after a test ride in the city in October. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kawasaki garbage trucks to be fueled by burning refuse they collect
KAWASAKI--In an innovative use for the trash they pick up, garbage trucks will be powered with electricity generated by the incineration of waste under an experiment starting this fall.
A fuel-cell forklift, with a hydrogen refueling station in the background, at Kansai International Airport on Feb. 10 (Koji Nishimura)
Kansai airport moving to become hydrogen hub with 'green' forklifts
Kansai International Airport will start replacing its fleet of forklifts with hydrogen fuel-cell models as part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
A concrete block is used as an anchor on the seabed off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture. (Provided by Heri Kichi Hantai Kyogikai)
Anti-base group: Anchors in Futenma relocation survey damaging coral reef
NAHA--Massive concrete blocks used in a seabed survey for the relocation of a U.S. military air station are destroying the coral reef off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, a group said.
Mark Brazil visits Nopporo Shinrink Koen park in Ebetsu, Hokkaido. (Masashi Rokubuichi)
A man for all seasons, Briton informs world about Hokkaido's birds
EBETSU, Hokkaido--A British man who became mesmerized by Hokkaido’s nature has become an authority figure on birds from Japan’s northernmost main island.
Nobel laureate Hiroshi Amano, a professor of electronic engineering at Nagoya University, speaks during the Japan-China Energy Conservation Forum in Beijing on Dec. 28. (Tokuhiko Saito)
Japan, China hold 1st energy, environment talks in two years
BEIJING--Japan and China held their first high-level talks in two years Dec. 28 on technological cooperation in the fields of energy-saving and the environment amid signs of a thaw in diplomatic ties.
A worker shows off honeybees. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Health ministry OKs plan to ease regulations on suspected 'honeybee killer' pesticide
A decision by the health ministry to relax restrictions on an agricultural chemical pesticide triggered outrage from an environmental group, which said it would endanger honeybee populations.
Construction continues in Maniwa, Okayama Prefecture, to bring a biomass power plant online in April 2015. (Provided by Maniwa Biomass Hatsuden)
City in Okayama on track to become self-sufficient with biomass energy
MANIWA, Okayama Prefecture--This mountainous city has moved another step toward its goal of supplying all of its energy needs with the area’s most visibly abundant resource.
Ornaments made from elephant tusks are popular in China. (Provided by Lucy Vigne)
Illegal ivory trade 'out of control' due to Chinese demand, group says
NAIROBI--A Kenya-based animal protection group said wild elephants could disappear within the next generation unless the Chinese government takes immediate steps to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.

More AJW