Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a meeting of the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters in Tokyo in June. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan sets 26% cut in greenhouse gas emissions as target
The government said on July 17 it would slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030 from 2013 levels and submitted the plan to the United Nations later in the day as its contribution to a global summit on climate change in Paris in November.
Yurine Abe, 9, and her brother, Maoto, 7, from Saitama Prefecture run in the Kasai Kaihin Koen beach park in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward on July 11. (Tetsuro Takehana)
After cleanup, Tokyo to temporarily lift head-dunking ban at beach
Long considered cesspools with enough water pollution to cause serious health problems, beaches in central Tokyo are being restored partly through the cleanup efforts of nonprofit organizations.
Taisei Corp. develops an energy-saving building in Yokohama that can operate only on solar power. (Yuji Shimoyama)
Taisei develops eco-friendly, ‘self-sufficient’ building
General contractor Taisei Corp. said it has created a three-story building that supplies all of its energy needs through solar power and significantly cuts down on wasted electricity.
Seita Fujiwara, the head of Fujiwara Yohojo, rids a beehive of drone pupa infested with the parasitic Varroa destructor mite in Morioka. (Ryoma Komiyama)
Iwate beekeeper creates possible solution for colony collapse disorder
MORIOKA--A small company here developed a method that gives honeybee drones a purpose other than just mating--and could resolve the disappearing-bee mystery that threatens crop production around the globe.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, center, attends a welcoming ceremony at the Hotel National des Invalides in Paris, with his French counterpart Manuel Valls, upon his arrival for a three-day visit on June 30. (Pool via AP)
China to cap rising emissions by 2030 in boost to Paris U.N. deal
PARIS--China formally committed to halting the rise in its greenhouse gas emissions within the next 15 years and pledged on June 30 to reduce the carbon intensity of its vast economy, in a much-anticipated strategy for United Nations climate talks.
An enormous floating wind turbine at Onahama port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 22 (Kenichiro Shino)
World’s most powerful floating wind turbine unveiled in Fukushima
IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture--A floating wind turbine that will have the planet’s largest generating capacity was shown to the public at Onahama port here on June 22 ahead of test runs scheduled for late this year.
The hawksbill turtle sighted in waters near Yakushima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, on April 19 (Provided by Keisuke Nakamura)
Endangered turtle set free 3 years ago sighted far from 'home'
YAKUSHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture--A rare hawksbill turtle returned to the wild was sighted almost 1,000 kilometers from where it was released into the sea three years ago.
A female "sasakitekagiika" rises close to the surface in coastal waters of the Shiretoko region, carrying a black egg batch seen on the upper left. (Kotaro Ebara)
Shiretoko spectacle: Spawning squid something special
RAUSU, Hokkaido--The coastline of the scenic Shiretoko Peninsula, which juts out into the Sea of Okhotsk, is known for being the southernmost area in the Northern Hemisphere where drift ice reaches land.
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Environment ministry pushes back on coal use
Japan's environment ministry is pushing back on the growing use of coal to generate power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster led to the shutdown of the nation's reactors, as concerns mount over greenhouse gas emissions.
A ptarmigan nest in Mount Norikuradake, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures, from which eggs were collected June 5 (Pool)
Grouse eggs bagged for first artificial incubation
Eggs of a vulnerable game bird have been collected in the wild for the first time by Environment Ministry workers who plan to hatch them.
A member of a Japanese NGO receives a “Fossil of the Day Award”  in Bonn, Germany, on June 4 for Tokyo's negative attitude in global warming talks. (Keisuke Katori)
Japan sweeps 'Fossil' awards for 'dinosaurian' attitude to global warming
BONN--Japan has received a chilling reprimand for what critics say is its failure to vigorously address global warming by sweeping the top three places in the scornful “Fossil of the Day Award.”
An artist’s rendition of a mega solar power plant that will be constructed in Kagoshima Prefecture (Provided by Gaia Power)
Solar plant for 30,000 households planned in Kagoshima
Construction of a massive solar power plant on a vast forested mountainside in Kagoshima Prefecture is set to get under way in September.
Equipment to remove radioactive substances from contaminated water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant (Pool)
TEPCO to finish processing highly contaminated water by month’s end
IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture--Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it will finish processing highly radioactive water stored in tanks at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant by the end of the month.
The world’s largest floating solar power plant--seen here May 22--has been built on  Sakasamaike Pond in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture. (Eijiro Morii)
Biggest floating solar power plant built in Hyogo
KASAI, Hyogo Prefecture--The world's largest floating solar power plant has been built on Sakasamaike Pond here.
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.

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