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Japan falling behind peers on shift away from coal

Shuttered nuclear plants remain a major obstacle to Tokyo's emissions target

International leaders pose for a photo at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Despite a growing international push to abandon coal for cleaner energy sources, Japan has been relying more and more on the fuel amid lagging efforts to bring its nuclear reactors back online.

"There are many plans for new coal-powered facilities in Japan," Japanese Environment Minister Masaharu Nakagawa told reporters on Thursday. "If they are all built, it would be difficult for us to meet our emissions reduction goals."

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