Japanese Prime Minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama says Tokyo will aim for a 25 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.
It more than doubles the outgoing government’s previous commitment to cut emissions by 8 per cent of 1990 levels in the same time frame.
At a symposium on climate change, Mr Hatoyama has said the target is based on a deal with other major nations on setting ambitious goals.
Mr Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) defeated the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide election at the end of last month.
His announced cut is far deeper than that pledged by the outgoing business-friendly government of Prime Minister Taro Aso.
“Our nation will strongly call on major countries around the world to set aggressive goals,” Mr Hatoyama said.
He says world leaders need to take greater responsibility in fighting climate change.
Japan will officially present its target at international climate change talks later this year Denmark.
Japan is the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases are blamed for raising global temperatures, melting the earth’s ice caps and glaciers, and changing weather patterns.