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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit
|G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit|
Front Cover : View over a sea of hamanasu (rugosa roses) toward Toya-ko lake, Hokkaido, site of this year's G8 Summit
|What's on the Agenda?|
"As the G8 presidency, Japan will take the lead in creating a new, effective framework which includes all major emitters, with a view to attaining the long-term goal of halving emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 in a manner compatible with economic growth." So said Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in a speech to the Diet on January 18, 2008. On the eve of the Summit, the world expects.
|Rescaling the Summits|
This summer's G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit will be the fifth occasion on which Japan has hosted the annual meeting, after the 1979, 1986, 1993 and 2000 meetings. We look back on the achievements of the Japan-chaired summits of the past, highlighting the shifting focus of the meeting since the first summit was held in 1975.
|Meetings of Minds on the Environment|
In advance of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, a series of ministerial meetings-predominantly on the subject of the environment-has been taking place in Japan. We review some of the meetings' main achievements.
|Bonds of Steel to Slash Emissions|
The Japanese steel industry has been cooperating with its counterparts in China and India (among other countries) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kobe Steel's Hisashi Shimozato, who has surveyed steelworks in China and India as part of the Steel Task Force of the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate (APP), spoke with us about the work.
|Japan as a Low-carbon Society|
On June 16, the Advisory Panel on the Global Warming Issue set out its proposals for the establishment of a low-carbon society in a document entitled "Japan as a Low-Carbon Society." We spoke to Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Global Warming Kazumasa Kusaka about the key points of the proposals.
|Talking on Thin Ice|
This July's G8 summit in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's four main islands, is expected to focus on global climate change. Tony McNicol reports on how global warming is already affecting parts of Hokkaido itself, and how locals are working to protect their environment.
The winners of the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prizes, Professor Brian Greenwood of the United Kingdom and Professor Miriam K. Were of Kenya, delivered inspiring lectures at the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo in May.
|A New Age for Asia?|
Relations between the three North Asian powers of China, Japan and South Korea have seen a "dramatic improvement" in the last three years, according to Kojima Akira, who here reviews the political turnaround and also offers a revealing firsthand account of proceedings at recent China-Japan-South Korea eminent persons group conferences.
|Green Researchers Recognized|
The second Green Science Prize has been awarded to Koji Asada, for his formulation of a mechanism for photosynthetic water oxidation, and Mikiko Ishikawa, for her studies into building and maintaining parks and green spaces in urban areas.
A research group at the University of Tokyo has discovered that bacteria around the roots of rice plants in paddy fields generate small amounts of electricity when exposed to sunlight. Kazuhito Hashimoto explains the significance of the findings.
Nanoglass technologies are expected to find revolutionary applications in a wide range of scientific fields. Kyoto University Professor Kazuyuki Hirao, leader of the Nanoglass Technology Project which until 2006 oversaw development in Japan, explains the functions and potential of nanoglass with reference to some of the exciting breakthroughs already made.
|Ticket to Ride|
Over the years, Japan's railways have achieved a worldwide reputation for first-class quality in every respect, from bullet train technology and traffic control to standards of safety and service. Today, led by the newly retired and female travelers, the country's railways are enjoying a boom in recognition and popularity among the Japanese themselves. Shin Ashihara reports.
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