TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to find ways in which the United States can cooperate on a post-Kyoto Protocol framework when he meets U.S. President George W. Bush later this week, the Japanese leader said on Monday.
A Japanese official said earlier that climate change and nuclear energy would be on the agenda when the two leaders meet during Abe’s two-day visit to the United States from Thursday.
"An alliance is a relationship of trust and to show at home and abroad that this trust has been strengthened is in Japan’s national interests," Abe said in a televised interview.
"In that context, I think it would be a great result if some way emerges for the United States to cooperate on the environment, on a new framework," Abe added.
The United States has been criticised for pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2001 and Japanese officials have said Washington should take part in whatever framework replaces the pact when it expires in 2012.
The Yomiuri newspaper reported on Saturday that Japan and the United States would agree at the summit on developing non-weapons use of nuclear energy and on steps to fight global warming.
Under the agreement, the two countries would work together on developing an advanced technology which would recycle nuclear fuel into a form difficult to use in weapons, the paper said.
The two sides will also eventually try to set up an international framework under which countries without means to reprocess their spent nuclear fuel would outsource the task to those with the advanced technology, it added.
"One of the key factors for addressing post-Kyoto will be involving China, India, developing countries, of course the U.S. as well," a Japanese foreign ministry official said last week.
"We have world class technology together with the United States, which would be key to overcoming some of the difficult problems as we go into the post-Kyoto phase," he added.
The United States is now the world’s top carbon emitter, but it may be overtaken by fast-growing China within the year.