TOKYO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) will start trading carbon credits on Oct. 11, it said on Friday, launching Japan's first exchange-based carbon market as the world's fifth-largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter moves to tackle climate change.

Japan began introducing a carbon pricing scheme in stages from April this year to encourage companies and cities to curb emissions and achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

The government's plan is aimed at speeding up decarbonisation to tackle climate change. Japan lags other major economies that have already implemented similar policies.

Via the new market, registered members can trade the existing carbon credit, known as J-Credit, on the TSE, a unit of Japan Exchange Group Inc.

Under the J-Credit system, the government certifies as "credit" the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2, reduced or removed through efforts to introduce energy-saving devices and manage forests.

The credit has been traded individually between companies and other organisations, but it was difficult for them to find buyers or sellers on their own.

The new TSE market will make it easier for companies to buy and sell credits and provide transparency in carbon pricing, a TSE official said.

The exchange began accepting application for registration from July, and a total of 188 entities had registered as participants as of Sept. 19.

Trading hours are 9:00-11:29 a.m. (0000-0229 GMT) and 12:30-2:59 p.m. (0330-0559 GMT). Transaction prices are set twice a day and published after trading hours. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Jan Harvey)