Japan's steelmakers aiming to cut CO2 emissions

Japan's major steelmakers are trying out new production methods to reduce their carbon footprints. Kobe Steel has turned to using natural gas instead of the more usual coking coal.

The company says the technique results in a 20 percent cut in CO2 emissions.

Automaker Toyota already uses the eco-friendly steel in a hydrogen-powered race car it's currently testing.

At present, Japan's steel industry is responsible for about 13 percent of the nation's carbon emissions.

Kobe Steel Executive Officer Sakamoto Koichi says steelmakers are under pressure to drastically cut their CO2 emissions. He says his company plans to harness all its technologies to make a contribution.

Other companies are expanding the use of electric heat to recycle scrap metal. The method results in lower emissions than using blast furnaces.

Nippon Steel plans to start using electric arc furnaces to produce high-quality steel from fiscal 2023. JFE Steel says it will follow suit a year later.