A ministry official told The Associated Press the effort to get Asia on board helps Japan’s energy transition in the long run because that would mean a bigger market in that sector, which Japan sees as critical. Asian nations will be free to develop their own solutions, he said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
The minister's statement that there is no “single pathway to carbon neutrality” echoes the views of the International Energy Agency, based in Paris, which also took part in Monday’s meeting.
China was invited but is not taking part, citing the recent national holidays.
Japan has among the world’s highest per capita emissions, although experts say it holds potential in making a shift to renewable energy because of its natural environment and technological prowess.
Japan remains more than 80% dependent on fossil fuels but ranks third in the world in solar power generation capacity after China and the U.S., according to IEA data.
Experts are warning the world continues to heat up, despite various nations’ emissions targets. Last year, Japan pledged to become carbon neutral, achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Resource-poor Japan includes nuclear power in its energy mix plans, although some nuclear plants remain offline after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama