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Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009

DPJ emissions goal needs global help: Naoshima


Staff writer

Although the ruling Democratic Party of Japan vowed to slash 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels, the U.S., India, China and other global players must also join a worldwide framework for Japan to implement the pledge, according to Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima.

"Efforts to fight global warming should be worldwide, and it won't be solved by efforts of just Japan and Europe," he said during a joint interview with The Japan Times on Thursday.

Critics say the DPJ's target is too bold to achieve and would prove too much of a burden to companies and households.

Naoshima, who heads an agency that oversees energy policies, stressed that the DPJ's target is based on the premise that the U.S., China and India participate in the international efforts.

Asked what Japan would do if they chose not to participate, Naoshima said such situation is unthinkable.

"If they don't participate, the Earth would be destroyed. So, I don't think there is such a premise," he said.

Commenting on the DPJ's pledge to launch a carbon trading market, increase reusable energy and impose an environment tax, Naoshima said these policies will be adopted step by step by the new government.

As for the economy, Japan should use its advanced technology for the environment and energy savings to grow a new environment-related industry to boost domestic demand and create jobs, he said.

The DPJ, which Naoshima belongs to, claims that it is important to expand domestic demand to achieve a recovery.

Creating a stable social security system, including a workable pension system and a ¥26,000 monthly child allowance, is key to reviving the domestic economy, Naoshima said, adding his ministry also aims to energize business activities and form a new industry.

"The first thing I have in mind is environment-related business. For instance, by using Japan's technology, I think we can energize domestic businesses and the economy," Naoshima said.

"I think it is crucial that we have a good balance between the environment and the economy," Naoshima said in a press conference on Thursday, adding that he aims to make a win-win balance of the economy and environment.

Naoshima, 63, served as the DPJ's policy research committee chairman responsible for putting the party's campaign platform together for the Aug. 30 election.



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