June 2, 2017 12:30 pm JST

Japan voices regret over US withdrawal from Paris climate accord

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government on Friday expressed regret over President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida pledging to work with other countries to implement the pact.

"As Japan was hoping to work with the United States within the framework of the Paris agreement, the announcement by the U.S. administration on its withdrawal from the Paris agreement is regrettable," Kishida told reporters.

While exploring ways to cooperate with the United States, Japan will "work with other parties to the Paris agreement for its steady and full implementation" to tackle the "important issue of climate change," Kishida added.

Trump criticized the 2015 accord as being unfair because it allows China to "build hundreds of additional coal plants" and India -- another major carbon emitter -- to "double its coal production by 2020," in what he said "transfers coal jobs out of America" and "ships them to foreign countries."

The United States under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

At the recent Group of Seven summit late last month, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attempted to persuade Trump to remain committed to the Paris pact as the United States is the second-largest emitter of the greenhouse gases behind only China.

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