The Environment Ministry says Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fell to a record low in the fiscal year that ended in March.
The ministry's preliminary figures show Japan emitted one-billion 244-million tons of carbon dioxide in fiscal 2018, down 47 million tons, or 3.6 percent, from the previous year. It was the fifth straight yearly decline.
The figure is the lowest since data compilation began in 1990.
The ministry attributes the decline to the promotion of energy-saving efforts and a reduction in thermal power generation.
It also cites an increase in power generation using renewable energy sources, and the resumption of operations at some nuclear plants.
The government aims to cut Japan's greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent from the 2013 levels by 2030. But it only achieved a 11.8-percent reduction in 2018.
Under the Paris Agreement on global warming, the signatory nations will have to submit their strategies by the end of next year. But experts point out that global warming cannot be stopped with the current measures.
Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said on Friday that all possible steps must be taken to achieve the 26 percent target by 2030. He said that talks with the relevant ministries will be needed if the target is to be raised. He added that the government should continue working to steadily reduce greenhouse gas emissions.