More Japan Firms Support than Oppose

Asia Pulse
May 27, 1999

The percentage of Japanese companies in favor of the government introducing a "carbon tax" has topped the ratio of those opposed to the levy, shows a survey released Wednesday by the Environment Agency. A carbon tax is a levy on consumption of fossil fuels.

This is the first time the pro side has eclipsed the antis since the agency began conducting the survey in 1991. The change indicates the growing perception among domestic companies that such a tax is necessary for Japan to achieve the rigorous target for cutting greenhouse gases imposed on the country at the conference on global warming in Kyoto in 1997, agency officials said.

Of listed firms, a total of 42.7% said they either support or more or less favor introduction of the tax, up 3.8 percentage points from last year's poll. In contrast, the percentage that said voluntary corporate efforts are sufficient or that regulatory steps should be introduced instead of a tax fell 3.5 points to 31.8%. followed by 46.8% of construction firms and 46.4% of manufacturers.

The agency sent questionnaires to 2,398 listed and 3,971 unlisted firms with a work force of at least 500. Valid responses were received from 43.8% of the listed and 40.5% of the unlisted firms.

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