Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 10/12/07

VZCZCXRO7738
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #4799/01 2850821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120821Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8535
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 6120
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3710
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7374
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2619
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4416
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9492
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5545
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6399

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 004799

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 10/12/07

Index:

(1) Diet interpellations (Tokyo Shimbun)

(2) LDP to decide whether to enact new antiterrorism legislation
during current session or to carry it over to next session, while
closely watching public opinion (Yomiuri)

(3) DPJ President Ozawa to visit China in December (Yomiuri)

(4) New Komeito in quandary over whether to accept LDP bill amending
revised Political Funds Control Law (Tokyo Shimbun)

(5) A tug-of-war took place between central and Aomori governments
over use of Aomori Airport by US military (Asahi)

(6) Pakistan expects MSDF to continue refueling operations (Nikkei)


(7) How about food safety? BSE (Part 5): Japan-US negotiations on
import expansion now in home stretch (Asahi)

(8) Kyoto Protocol: Thirteen industries to further cut CO2 emissions
to achieve goal; Challenge is reduction by household sector and
operations sectors (Yomiuri)

ARTICLES:

(1) Diet interpellations

TOKYO (Page 7) (Abridged)
October 6, 2007

The following is a gist of questions and answers in the House of
Councillors during its plenary sitting yesterday.

Kazuyoshi Shirahama (New Komeito)

MSDF refueling: To continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
activities in the Indian Ocean is a message to the international
community, meaning that we will never accept terrorism.

Myanmar (Burma): A Japanese reporter was killed in the military
crackdown on antigovernment demonstrators. What's the government's
response to Japan's aid to that country, such as nonreimbursable
financial cooperation and technical cooperation?

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

MSDF refueling: The MSDF's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean
are highly appreciated in the international community. The MSDF's
refueling mission there is also in Japan's national interests. Japan
needs to continue the MSDF's refueling mission there in order for
Japan to continue fulfilling its international responsibility in the
war on terror. The government is now studying a legislative measure
that is needed to continue the MSDF's refueling activities. The
government will immediately present the opposition parties with the
bare bones of a new legislation, and then we would like to start
discussions.

Myanmar: Japan's economic cooperation has been limited to
humanitarian projects that will directly benefit the people of

TOKYO 00004799 002 OF 011


Myanmar. However, in view of the present-day situation in Myanmar,
the government is also looking into the possibility of narrowing
Japan's economic cooperation further.

Kazuyasu Shiina (Liberal Democratic Party-Independent Club)

MSDF refueling: Was the MSDF's fuel used for any other purposes?

Discontinuing MSDF refueling and its impact: What's your view of the
impact of discontinuing the MSDF's refueling activities?

Support for the war on terror: Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto)
President Ichiro Ozawa says it's tantamount to collective
self-defense and unconstitutional.

Prime Minister Fukuda

MSDF refueling: The MSDF has been refueling foreign naval vessels.
These days, about 50 PERCENT was for those from France, about 30
PERCENT for the United States, and about 13 PERCENT for Pakistan,
the only Islamic country among the participating countries. The
MSDF's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean are highly
appreciated in the international community, including the United
Nations. I will do my best so that they (DPJ) will understand the
necessity of continuing the MSDF's refueling activities there. It's
my understanding that the MSDF's fuel has been used appropriately in
conformity with the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law's purport.
However, the Defense Ministry is now reconfirming this.

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba

Discontinuing MSDF refueling and its impact: If Japan ends the
MSDF's refueling activities, they will have to be berthed for
refueling at the risk of coming under terrorist attacks.

Cabinet Legislation Bureau Director General Reiichi Miyazaki

Support for the war on terror: The MSDF's underway replenishment
there in the Indian Ocean does not fall under the category of using
armed force. It's stipulated (in the Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law) so that the MSDF will not be involved in foreign countries' use
of armed force. Including the issue of (Japan's prohibition against)
collective self-defense, it's not against the Constitution's Article
9.

(2) LDP to decide whether to enact new antiterrorism legislation
during current session or to carry it over to next session, while
closely watching public opinion

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 12, 2007

The government of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will approve in a
cabinet meeting on Oct. 17 a new antiterrorism bill to allow the
Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) to continue its refueling mission
in the Indian Ocean and send it to the House of Representatives the
same day. However, enacting new refueling legislation during the
ongoing Diet session will be difficult, as the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), which is the largest party in the House of
Councillors, intends to oppose the legislation. The ruling parties
are now considering whether they should pass the bill during the
current session or carry it over to a regular session next year.

TOKYO 00004799 003 OF 011

Taking vote twice in Lower House

Prime Minister Fukuda told reporters last evening in a strong tone:
"I want to continue the (refueling) operation. We will then fight
against terrorism along with the international community."

Fukuda hopes to explain the purpose of the new legislation at a
Lower House plenary session on the 19th, aiming at enacting it in
early November. The present Antiterrorism Special Measures Law
expires on Nov. 1. If the new antiterrorism law fails to pass the
Diet, the MSDF will have to discontinue its mission. In order to
resume the operation as early as possible, it is indispensable to
enact the legislation during the current session. In an attempt to
get it through the Diet, the term of the current session will have
to be extended until Nov. 10.

The term of an extraordinary session is allowed to be extended
twice. So, in order to avoid adverse effects on the compilation of a
budget for fiscal 2008, the current session would be extended for
about one month until early- or mid-December. When the Upper House
votes down the legislation, the Lower House can take a second vote.
In that case, the session would be extended until January. Since the
Constitution stipulates that if the Upper House fails to take a vote
on a bill within 60 days after the Lower House has passed it, it is
considered that the Upper House voted down the bill, and the Lower
House can take a vote again. A senior LDP member said: "If 60
PERCENT -70 PERCENT of the public support the refueling mission in
polls, a second vote should be taken in the Lower House."

Passing the bill through the Lower House alone

If the DPJ submits to the Upper House a censure motion against the
prime minister in reaction to the ruling coalition's taking a second
vote in the Lower House, and the motion is adopted, the prime
minister may have to dissolve the Lower House. One member in the
ruling coalition pointed out:

"One of the reasons for the relatively high support rate for the
Fukuda cabinet is that it doesn't act recklessly. In that sense,
taking a second vote might damage the image of the Fukuda
government. This might lead to a defeat in the next Lower House
election."

It is possible that the government might aim to enact the
legislation in the next regular session after passing it through the
Lower House during the ongoing session, in order to avoid dissolving
the Lower House, while showing its efforts for continuing the MSDF
refueling operation.

Should the legislation be scrapped due to a lack of time for
deliberations in the Upper House, the ruling camp will submit it
again to a regular session. If the DPJ decides in the Upper House to
continue deliberations on it, the legislation will remain in the
Upper House, in which the DPJ holds the leadership. As a result, the
bill could remain limbo. If the bill is carried over to the next
session, the possibility of the bill passing through the Diet will
disappear.

Carrying over to next Diet session

There is another option that the ruling coalition will decide to

TOKYO 00004799 004 OF 011


continue deliberations on the legislation in the Lower House without
sending it to the Upper House. In this case, it is possible to end
the current session on Nov. 10, not extending the session. However,
the dominant view in the ruling camp is that it will be difficult to
obtain the understanding of the international community if the
government gives up continuing the refueling operation without
passing the new legislation through the Lower House.

Some in the ruling camp are concerned that they might be criticized
by the public if the session is not extended because the extra Diet
session went into recess for about three weeks due to the LDP
presidential election.

The ruling coalition will determine the best option while keeping
close watch on the public support for the MSDF refueling mission.

(3) DPJ President Ozawa to visit China in December

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 12, 2007

It has been decided that Ichiro Ozawa, president of the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), will visit
China on Dec. 6-8. Ozawa conveyed his plan yesterday to Chinese
Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai.

(4) New Komeito in quandary over whether to accept LDP bill amending
revised Political Funds Control Law

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 12, 2007

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ), and the New Komeito have presented their respective draft
amendments to the revised Political Funds Control Law. Although the
LDP and the New Komeito are groping for ways to submit a joint
proposal, the gulf remains wide in both sides' views on the scope of
receipts subject to disclosure. The New Komeito is now under
increased pressure to determine whether it should reject the LDP
draft or make a concession.

Just after the Fukuda administration was inaugurated, the LDP and
the New Komeito agreed to aim at submitting to the current Diet
session a bill amending the revised law that would require political
groups to attach receipts for expenditures of more than one yen
(excluding personnel costs).

The DPJ proposes in its draft bill requiring political groups to
attach receipts for more than one yen and also disclosing their
contents. The main opposition party intends to submit the bill to
the current Diet session. The New Komeito, too, has insisted on the
need for disclosing the contents of receipts.

In contrast, the LDP is negative about disclosing receipts, citing
the reason that "the disclosure requirement might obstruct our free
political activities." In a meeting with the New Komeito on Oct. 10,
the LDP presented a package of concessions to: (1) disclose all
receipts for payments from political subsidies; (2) specify the
scope of disclosure of payments from donations from individuals,
companies, and groups in government ordinances, reflecting the
results of consultations between the ruling and opposition parties,
instead of specifying it in the bill; and (3) guarantee the

TOKYO 00004799 005 OF 011


transparency of payments by having a third-party organ check
submitted receipts.

In executive talks of the LDP Reform Implementation Headquarters
yesterday, it was confirmed that the party would not include the
measure of full disclosure in its bill. A senior member of the
headquarters told reporters yesterday: "There are an estimated over
one million receipts for expenditures of more than one yen. It will
be very heavy clerical work to submit all the receipts."

The New Komeito intends to compile a report of replies to the LDP
today. Many party members are critical of the LDP draft, one
claiming: "The standard for items subject to the disclosure
requirement is tolerant." Another criticized: "It will provide
loopholes." But there are members who suggest that the party should
find a means of surviving by accepting the LDP draft. There are also
some who insist that the LDP and the New Komeito, without producing
a joint plan, should present their respective bills.

LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki met with New Komeito Vice
President Junji Higashi yesterday and made this request: "(The LDP
draft) would call for full disclosure if the talks between the
ruling and opposition parties reach a settlement. Since the New
Komeito succeeded in convincing the LDP in a sense, I would like you
to make efforts to form a consensus in your party."

If the New Komeito accepts the LDP draft, the party will unavoidably
come under fire from the DPJ assailing: "The New Komeito has
retreated." Even so, it has no good ideas for persuading the LDP
over a short period of time. Senior New Komeito members are now in a
great quandary.

(5) A tug-of-war took place between central and Aomori governments
over use of Aomori Airport by US military

ASAHI (Page 34) (Abridged slightly)
October 12, 2007

Manabu Aoike

"You must let the US military use the airport." "That is not
possible. In this day and age, we must respect public opinion."
Following the Aomori prefectural government's rejection of a request
for the use of Aomori Airport by the US military in April 2006, a
fierce tug-of-war took place between the Foreign Ministry, which
tried to pressure the prefectural government into reversing its
rejection out of consideration for Japan-US relations, and the
prefectural government, which tried to uphold its rejection,
according to an internal document by prefectural authorities.

The document compiled by prefectural authorities testifies to what
took place between the prefectural government and the central
government and the US military over the US military's request.

According to the document, the prefectural government seaport and
airport division received a telephone call from the US forces
shortly before 10:00 a.m., April 19, 2006.

On the phone, a US military officer said: "We would like to use a
small jet from Aomori Airport to Camp Zama to transport US Army
Japan Commander Maj. Gen. Elbert Perkins and US Embassy Tokyo
Political Minister-Counselor Michael Meserve after paying a courtesy

TOKYO 00004799 006 OF 011


call on the Aomori governor."

In principle, the prefecture allows US military aircraft to use
Aomori Airport only in emergencies or when there is a need for it
from a humanitarian perspective. Gov. Shingo Mimura decided to
reject the request based on this principle, and his decision was
conveyed to the US forces.

In 1982, before the opening of the Aomori Airport now in use, the
prefectural government received a local request not to use the
airport militarily. The prefectural government declined the US
request by citing the principle in deference to the sentiments of
residents of Aomori, home of the US Air Force's Misawa Air Base.

The rejection drew a strong reaction from the Foreign Ministry. The
prefectural government received a call from the Foreign Ministry at
6:00 p.m., April 19.

A Foreign Ministry official said: "Please let the US military use
the airport. If you are to reject the request, what are your grounds
in terms of the Aviation Law or a prefectural ordinance? The US
military is entitled to use the airport under the Japan-US Status of
Forces Agreement (SOFA)."

There is a prefectural ordinance requiring the US military to file a
request with the governor in advance for use of the airport by US
military aircraft. "There were no legal grounds for the prefectural
government to turn down the request," a prefectural source said.

Still, the seaport and airport division director declined the
request on the phone, saying: "We have to turn down the request
because it is neither an emergency nor requiring humanitarian
consideration."

At 6:40 p.m., the prefectural government received another call, this
time from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport
(MLIT).

A MLIT Civil Aviation Bureau official said: "We are aware that you
must give thought to the environment, noise, local sentiments, and
other matters. But we still want you to give consideration to the
request."

A prefectural officer replied: "We cannot change our decision."

A prefectural official placed a call to the Foreign Ministry at 7:30
p.m.

A Foreign Ministry official said: "We have learned of the
prefectural government's view from the Civil Aviation Bureau. Please
reconsider the request."

A seaports and airports division official: "We are in an age of
respecting local views and thinking. There will be no change in our
thinking."

The prefectural government continued to clash with the Foreign
Ministry on April 20. A Foreign Ministry SOFA Division official said
at 10:15 a.m.: "Please permit the US military to use Aomori Airport.
The request was filed by the US Embassy. Under the SOFA, the US
military has the right to use the airport. (Rejecting the use of the
airport by the US military) is a violation of the agreement. The

TOKYO 00004799 007 OF 011


matter concerns Japan-US relations. Please raise it to the attention
of the governor and let us know his reaction."

The prefectural land development department director said: "I will
talk to the governor."

Learning of the Foreign Ministry's view, Governor Mimura said to a
senior prefectural official in a strong tone: "Even if they come
here to pay a courtesy call, I will not meet them."

At 11:45 a.m., the prefectural government delivered the ultimatum
over the phone, with the prefectural land improvement department
director saying: "I have talked to the governor, but he hasn't
changed his mind, so the answer is 'no.'"

A Foreign Ministry official finally said: "I see."

With this, the series of intense telephone conversations between the
central government and Aomori prefectural government came to an
abrupt end at 2:05 p.m. Later on, the seaports and airports division
received a call from another division in contact with the US
military, which said: "The request for the use of the airport by US
military aircraft has been cancelled." The courtesy call never took
place.

Request for use of Aomori Airport by the US military

The request was made in April 2006 for the planned courtesy call on
Governor Mimura by the US Army Japan commander and others in
connection with the deployment of the X-band radar in Tsugaru City,
Aomori Prefecture.

The request seemingly came from the judgment that it would be much
faster to use Aomori Airport than moving from the prefectural
government office to Misawa Air Base in eastern Aomori. Article 5 of
the SOFA stipulates that US aircraft are allowed to move between US
military facilities and airports in Japan.

(6) Pakistan expects MSDF to continue refueling operations

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
Eve., October 12, 2007

Tsuyoshi Sunohara

SIPDIS

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and other
pro-Japan Americans are calling for Japan to continue its Maritime
Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling operations in the Indian
Ocean. They want Japan to firmly uphold the Japan-US alliance, which
has entered a new age, and they do not want to see Japan return to
its past practice of checkbook diplomacy.

"We are sorry we can't accept this fuel oil." When an MSDF officer
was told this by a Pakistani naval officer in the Indian Ocean near
Pakistan in late July 2004, the MSDF officer could not believe his
ears. As the reason for refusing to accept the oil, the Pakistani
officer cited the "quality" of oil the MSDF's supply ship was going
to provide.

When one country's warship refuels another country's warship, the
common refueling method is that after receiving fuel from the
tanker, this country's warship puts the fuel in its supply tank and

TOKYO 00004799 008 OF 011


then supplies the fuel to the tank of another country's ship. But
under this method, the impurities in the oil, such as sand and rust,
are also transferred to the other country's ship. So, the ship that
received the fuel must be equipped with a fuel purifier. If fuel of
low purity is used, the gas turbine engine, which is so delicate
that it also can be used for an aircraft, could be damaged.

Most of the ships in the Pakistani Navy are so obsolete that their
purifiers no longer function properly. But the engine, which is the
heart of a ship, needs to be used long, so Pakistan cannot accept
fuel of low quality, such as the variety being supplied directly
from tankers. That was the reason the Pakistani Navy initially
declined receiving fuel from Japan.

Japan, immediately after understanding the situation the Pakistani
Navy ships were placed in, ordered every supply ship like the Towada
to "take the extra time to filter fuel inside the ship" after
receiving it from tankers or other ships, and they then pumped in
the filtered fuel to the Pakistani vessel, an MSDF official said.
The fuel Japan provided to Pakistan no longer is a problem, of
course.

Japan since then has purified the fuel given by the tanker in three
stages: (1) in the supply tank; (2) by means of a purifier; and (3)
in a special tank for purified fuel. The United States and Britain
have lauded Japan for this process to improve the fuel to the
quality sought by Pakistan, describing that it is "consideration
worthy of Japan." Since then Japan has refueled Pakistani naval
ships a total of 141 times, second only to the 351 times that
warships of the US forces have been serviced.

The US and Britain can provide the same fuel (No. 2 diesel oil) as
Japan does. But in the case of US warships, their fuel tanks also
function as ballasts, a device to adjust buoyancy. In their fuel
tanks, "fuel and sea water are mixed and they are again separated
off when fuel is needed," a source familiar with Japan-US defense
explained, adding, "It is difficult for them to purify fuel in a
minute way like Japan can."

Former US Joint Staff Chairman Pace and other officers have
frequently remarked "Pakistan needs to be supplied Japan's quality
oil." Behind this praise is the MSDF's steady effort as mentioned
above by devoting itself heart and soul to quality control, which is
Japan's forte.

There is a rumor, however, that the Pakistani Navy has illegally put
the quality fuel provided by the MSDF on the black market. A ranking
official in charge of the Afghanistan issue at the US Department of
Defense asked Pakistani military authorities about this suspicion
and received this answer: "Such a thing is absolutely impossible."

(7) How about food safety? BSE (Part 5): Japan-US negotiations on
import expansion now in home stretch

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 12, 2007

Japan has set a requirement to allow the US to export only beef from
cattle 20 months or younger as a safeguard measure to prevent BSE.
Negotiations between Japan and the United States on whether Japan
should increase imports by easing the condition are now in the home
stretch.

TOKYO 00004799 009 OF 011

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which determines
safety regulations for livestock, classified the US this May as a
country with a "controlled BSE risk" and allowed it to export beef
with no other conditions attached than removing specified risk
materials (SRM) and having no vertebral material. On the strength of
this OIE authorization, the US is pressing Japan to abolish its
age-limit requirement.

In Japan, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry (MAFF)
and the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry are now engaged in work
to reduce the risk of BSE infection, such as measures to prevent
meat-and-bone meal from being mixed in feed for cows. Japan hopes to
reach an agreement on a measure to raise the age limit to 30
months.

The US, however, insists that the age-limit requirement should be
completely abolished. A MAFF official commented: "If (the US) agrees
to Japan's terms, there will inevitably be some effect on
negotiations with South Korea, Hong Kong, and other trade
partners."

Once an agreement is reached in the negotiations, the Cabinet
Office's Food Safety Commission will start the assessment of BSE
risk to humans. However, when the panel approved Japan's resumption
of US beef imports two years ago, it came up with no other judgment
than just confirming that the agreed-upon export procedures should
be observed. Some committee members complained that the panel had
discussed the issue based on the assumption of an import
resumption.

In actuality, beef with backbones was found in a veal shipment from
the US just after Japan resumed imports. Following this incident,
the government came under heavy fire, with some claiming that the
government neglected the necessary prior inspection of
slaughterhouses in the US out of consideration to the US, which was
urging Japan to import US beef.

Will the government be able to avoid a repeated mistake and protect
food safety? The government will soon have to undergo a pressing
additional test.

(8) Kyoto Protocol: Thirteen industries to further cut CO2 emissions
to achieve goal; Challenge is reduction by household sector and
operations sectors

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Slightly abridged)
October 12, 2007

In cooperation with government efforts to achieve the greenhouse gas
reduction goal set under the Kyoto Protocol, 15 industries yesterday
reported at a meeting of a joint council of the Environment Ministry
and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on their
plans to review their action programs, which they have voluntarily
adopted. According to their reports, the 13 industries, including
the chemical, paper-manufacturing and cement industries, have raised
their numerical targets. The electric power industry, which finds it
difficult to achieve its target, has also formally reported on its
plan to increase purchases of carbon emissions rights from abroad.
All industries will come up with additional measures by the end of
October. However, the prevailing view is that efforts by the
manufacturing sector have reached a limit. The future challenge will

TOKYO 00004799 010 OF 011


be reduction efforts by households and offices.

Falling short of 2.7 PERCENT

Representatives of the 13 industries reported their plans to raise
their reduction targets at the joint panel meeting on October 11.
The cumulative amounts of their increased reduction targets raised
totaled approximately 13 million tons in terms of CO2. Industrial
circles have voluntarily set an action program to realize a 6
PERCENT cut in greenhouse gas emissions on average over five years
between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2012, compared with the 1990 level.

However, according to a government estimate, even if their plan is
attained, carbon emissions in fiscal 2010 would increase by 0.9
PERCENT -2.1 PERCENT , compared with the 1990 level. It means that
it would be necessary to cut emissions by up to 8.1 PERCENT in
order to achieve the goal set under the Protocol.

The government plans to make up for 1.6 PERCENT out of the 8.1
PERCENT shortfall by obtaining emissions credits from other
countries. Another plan is to cover another 3.8 PERCENT by boosting
reforestation efforts. Even so, there are no prospects for achieving
the remaining 2.7 PERCENT cut or 34 million tons at the most. It
has, therefore, sought additional cuts from industry circles.

Reductions of 13 million tons, additional cuts reported on the 11,
are equivalent to 40 PERCENT of the 2.7 PERCENT , which still
remains to be addressed. Industry sectors plan to further reduce
greenhouse gas emissions through the introduction of new
energy-conserving equipment and the use of wind-power generation.

Other industries, such as auto and home electronics industries and
department stores, also intend to reveal their plans to revise
carbon emissions plans. About 100 business types are in the end
expected to come up with measures to cut carbon emissions.

Vice METI Minister Takao Kitabata welcomed the move, noting, "It is
desirable that the industrial sector has come up with additional
cuts."

Among industries that find it difficult to achieve the targets is
the Federation of Electric Power Companies. It, however, revealed a
plan to increase the purchases of greenhouse gas emissions rights
from 30 million tons to 120 million tons. The Japan Iron and Steel
Federation also presented a plan to boost the purchases of carbon
emissions rights from 28 million tons to 44 million tons.

The point has been made that efforts by industrial sector have
reached a limit

However, the manufacturing sector has cut emissions by 5.5 PERCENT
in terms of its track record, compared with the 1990 level. One
panel member during a meeting on the 11th pointed out that efforts
by the industrial sector have reached a limit, saying, "Japan's
energy-conserving level is high from a global perspective." Another
member voiced skepticism about the feasibility of the electric power
industry achieving its additional target.

Due to the dissemination of electronic office equipment and
computers, carbon emissions in the operation sector jumped 44.6
PERCENT in fiscal 2005, compared with the 1990 level. Emissions
from the household sector also jumped 36.7 PERCENT due to the

TOKYO 00004799 011 OF 011


dissemination of large-size home electronics.

For this reason, the government will mandate in a bill amending the
Energy-Conserving Bill to be submitted to the regular Diet session
next year that small stores, such as convenience stores, submit an
energy-conserving plan.

As a master card for cutting emissions, the Environment Ministry is
considering introducing an environment tax, which is to be imposed
in proportion to the amounts of emissions trading by companies and
greenhouse gases they emitted. However, business circles are opposed
to the idea, citing that such a tax would deprive them of freedom of
economic activities. Revisions of measures to cut carbon emissions
by industry sectors aimed at achieving a goal to cut greenhouse gas
emissions are now in the final stage.

DONOVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: