Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stressed on Friday that Japan should seek to increase the use of alternatives to oil in its future energy policy, a step driven by the recent surge in crude oil prices to record highs, a government official said .
"Leaving oil will be the most important issue in Japan's future policy from both an energy and environmental standpoint," Koizumi was quoted as saying at a ministerial meeting on the country's energy policy.
"Japan can play a big role in leading this trend (about reducing dependence on oil) in the world."
At the meeting, each ministry explained the efforts made so far to reduce oil consumption.
Environment Minister Yuriko Koike presented a simulation with numerical data and suggested steps Japan could take to curb global warming before 2050, the official said.
He urged Koizumi to emphasize the importance of long-term policy formulation to address energy and environmental concerns at the Group of Eight summit (G8), according to the official.
The G8 leaders are expected to discuss ways to combat global warming at a summit noted in early July in Gleneagles, Scotland. Leaving oil will be a major policy in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, greenhouse gases.
Koizumi is expected to touch Japan's policy on extending alternative oil consumption during the summit, the official said. Messages like this can be regarded as a warning to oil producers, advocating their efforts to control oil price hikes, he added.
The G-8 is made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.
In the long-term government energy scene, Japan can reduce its dependence on oil as primary energy supply from 47% in fiscal 2000 to 41% in fiscal 2010. (* / bun)