TOKYO (AFP) — China will pledge to "actively join" a post-Kyoto Protocol deal on tackling global warming, in a planned joint statement with Japan during President Hu Jintao's visit here starting Tuesday, officials said.
Multilateral negotiations are underway for completing a pact by the end of next year to follow the landmark Kyoto Protocol, which requires rich nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change.
The United States and some other Western states have baulked at making mandatory cuts as developing nations such as China, one of the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, are not bound to slash emissions under Kyoto.
China has been cautious about setting binding emission cut targets for developing countries, arguing that such nations are responsible for current levels.
"Japan and China plan to announce a joint statement on climate change during President Hu Jintao's formal visit to Japan," the Japanese foreign ministry said late Monday in a statement.
"Both sides will actively join the negotiations on strengthening an effective process and a framework" after the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012, the statement said.
"China will take notice of Japan's view that the world as a whole needs to slash greenhouse gas emissions at least by half by 2050 from the current level, and China will show its willingness to study ways and measures to realise the ultimate purpose" of the UN framework on climate change, it said.
Hu arrives in Japan on Tuesday afternoon in what will be the first visit by a Chinese head of state in a decade in a sign of steady reconciliation between the countries despite unresolved disputes.
Diplomats from both sides have been negotiating several joint statements to be issued by Hu and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during talks between the two leaders.
Japan hopes to play a leadership role in the Group of Eight summit of industrialised nations it hosts in July, in which global climate change will feature prominently on the agenda.
In the planned statement on climate, China is also due to express support for Japan's controversial call for a "sectoral" approach on global warming, in which each industry is judged by its efficiency, the statement said.
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