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In about-face, environment ministry to OK coal plants

TOKYO -- Japan's Ministry of the Environment looks prepared to ease its opposition to new coal-power plants following efforts by the economy ministry and the industry to address concerns over global warming emissions.

     Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa will meet with Motoo Hayashi, the minister of economy, trade and industry, as early as Monday to reach an agreement that could lead to conditional approvals for several plants. Under a proposed framework, the environment ministry will check the progress that utilities make every year in their plans to cut emissions so that the nation as a whole does not veer off from its reduction target.

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