Japan’s climate policy ‘failed to build on the legacy of Kyoto’

More than two decades on from the protocol, country shows enthusiasm for nuclear restarts over renewables

Apart from the distant buzz of a gardener’s strimmer, all is quiet at the Kyoto International Conference Center, its grey concrete walls matched by the sky on an afternoon in early December. Autumn leaves still cling to branches in the nearby forest, where groups of hikers plot their course in light trousers and T-shirts, as if to remind passersby of why Japan’s ancient capital became synonymous with the climate crisis.

The venue – best known for its appearance in the 1974 Robert Mitchum film The Yakuza – is deserted. Its doors are locked and signs dotting its lawns warn non-authorised personnel to keep out.

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