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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 17:44 09/07/2007
News Review #410: September 7, 2007

Japan's Abe Hopes for Consensus on Cutting Greenhouse Emissions at APEC Summmit

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japan's Abe Hopes for Consensus on Cutting Greenhouse Emissions at APEC Summmit
International Herald Tribune (9/7/2007)


It is reported in this International Herald Tribune article that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he hoped for consensus on curbing greenhouse emissions at the current APEC summit in Sidney, Australia. In this connection, he has announced an "Abe Initiative" to reduce gas emissions, calling for a new global warming pact to succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. In Sidney, Mr. Abe is also scheduled to have a three-way summit with US President Bush and Australian Prime Minister Howard, possibly to talk about strengthening their defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, this article mentions Mr. Abe's domestic problem, that is a series of resignations of his cabinet members, especially agriculture ministers, due to the "politics and money" scandals. It is now widely known not only at home but also abroad that Mr. Abe's days as prime minister may be numbered, and even if he refuses to resign, his political leadership has already been lost and cannot lead domestic politics, let alone international politics such as an environmental initiative.

This article, although explicit saying that, implies that Mr. Abe's initiative at the APEC summit may not be taken seriously by other national leaders, unless he regains his leadership as prime minister by somehow cleaning up money scandals involving his cabinet and party members. But that is almost impossible now, because no politician is completely safe under the current scrutiny of the Japanese mass media, which is trying extra hard to find any discrepancy in handling money among politicians. It is rather unfortunate that this is happening to Japanese politics at the time when Japan's policy toward Asia is at a crossroads, as China is rapidly increasing its presence and influence in the region and the US is gradually retreating from Asia in favor of the Middle East.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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