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Japan Scales Back Greenhouse Emissions Target

FILE - A Japanese wind turbine, named Fukushima Mirai, is seen about 20 kilometers off the coast of Naraha.
Japan has drastically scaled back its greenhouse gas emissions target after the Fukushima nuclear accident forced the country to return to fossil fuel-burning energy sources.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihida Suga told reporters Friday that the new target for 2020 calls for a 3.8 percent reduction in emissions from their 2005 level by 2020. The former target aimed to reduce emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels. The new target represents a 3 percent increase over 1990 emissions.

Suga said the former target, set in 2009 under a center-left government, was not realistic.

All of Japan's nuclear power plants are offline for safety checks after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 sent reactors at the Fukushima into meltdown and generated widespread distrust of nuclear technology.