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Japan Pledges $3 Billion In Aid At Rio+20

Japan will provide $3 billion in aid to developing countries in the next three years to make the transition to a green economy.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba made the offer in his address to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) which began in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, reports said.

Gemba called on the member-countries to work together to create a green economy based on the efficient use of energy and resources. Japan's long-standing efforts on energy saving and experiences in recycling could contribute to building such an economy, he said.

Japan will formally announce the assistance next month when it holds a Ministers' meeting in the country's north-eastern Tohoku region to share lessons learned from last year's earthquake and tsunami.

More than 100 Heads of State and Government are discussing how to balance environmental conservation with economic development at the Conference.

Addressing the opening session, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a historic agreement was in sight and called on the participants "not to waste this opportunity as the world is watching to see if words will translate into action."

After protracted negotiations on how to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development, the 191 U.N. member-countries reached agreement on Tuesday on the Conference outcome document. The text will now be put forward for adoption by Heads of State at the conclusion of Rio+20 on Friday.

Ban expressed happiness that negotiations have reached a successful conclusion and commended the Presidency of Brazil for facilitating this resolution.

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