Japan to tighten export policy on coal-fired power plants

Japan Today -- Feb 26

Japan will launch a review by the end of June aimed at tightening conditions for the export of coal-fired power plants, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said on Tuesday.

The move follows global criticism over the Japanese government's support for building coal-fired plants in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as the roll-out of new plants in Japan.

Koizumi, son of former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, said in December that global criticism of his country's "addiction to coal" was hitting home, but warned he had yet to win wider support to reduce backing for fossil fuels.

On Tuesday, he said the environment ministry had agreed the review with other ministries, including the finance ministry and the powerful industry ministry, which has traditionally held more sway over coal policy.

The discussions will form an outline for Japan's new infrastructure export policy to be mapped out in December, he told a news conference.

Under its current policy, Japan supports coal-fired power plant projects if and when a country which needs to choose coal as a power source requests Japan to provide its highly-efficient coal power technology.