Britain 's foreign secretary said Tuesday that Japan ant the UK should lead the global fight against climate change.
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett also urged Japan to overcome fears of economic competition from China and help its neighbor with technology and other aid to boost that country's energy efficiency.
"We are the top runners," Beckett told a conference on climate change at Keidanren, Japan's leading business federation. "We can provide the model for others to emulate."
Both Britain and Japan have implemented targets to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Britain, however, has imposed further emissions reductions, beyond the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto pact, and is urging other countries - such as Japan - to follow suit.
Beckett made no direct reference to emissions reduction targets, but she urged Japan to build on the existing architecture of Kyoto. She said moving quickly on climate change also makes good economic sense.
"Our companies will be the first in the world to adopt to the low-carbon economy," she said.
China, while seen by some as a laggard on emissions reductions, takes the challenge of climate change seriously, said Beckett, visiting Tokyo after stops in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Japan, with its cutting-edge technology, could play a larger role in helping China go green, she said.
"Japan's low carbon technology is second to none. Now is the time for Japan to capitalize on that position," Beckett said. "An investment in China's energy efficiency is an investment in our own energy security."
Beckett planned to hold talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso later in the day.