Aya Yoshida

Japan's lead negotiator, relying on fossil fuels since the Fukushima disaster

An experienced and influential negotiator, Aya Yoshida is leading the negotiations, and is also co-facilitator of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, which is negotiating the text for the Paris agreement.

As a major developed country, Japan has significant influence over quite a few developing countries because of their trade relationships. But Japan has been hesitating to increase its ambition to reduce emissions at recent COPs. Part of this is related to the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which led to the shutdown of the country’s 48 working nuclear reactors. To compensate, Japan has relied on fossil fuels and is planning to build more coal-fired plants as restarts of many nuclear plants are being held up by safety concerns and public opposition to nuclear power.