Japan to offer $1.8 billion in environment loans: paper
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda plans to pledge more than $1.8 billion in loans for environmental projects in Asia during a meeting of East Asian leaders next week, a newspaper reported on Friday.
Japan's top government spokesman confirmed that Tokyo was working on a plan for Fukuda to unveil at a November 21 summit in Singapore, at which some of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters including China and India will be present.
Japan would allocate 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) to finance environmental projects such as sewage disposal and scrubbing of sulphur dioxide from power plant chimneys, the Nikkei financial daily said.
Japan, as host to next year's Group of Eight summit, where global warming is expected to be a top agenda item, is keen to be seen taking leadership on environmental issues.
But Japan, the world's fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter and the only country in Asia with a Kyoto Protocol target, is itself still far from hitting its goal.
Japan's emissions last year were still 13 percent above the average level of greenhouse gas emissions that it must meet over the next five years, a recent government report showed.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Mike Miller)