In an online press conference on Dec. 21, Japan Business Federation [Keidanren] chairperson Hiroaki Nakanishi showed a degree of understanding toward carbon pricing – the pricing of carbon emissions – saying that “we should not start by denying it.” Nakanishi had displayed a stance to resist the introduction of a carbon tax, a policy tool for carbon pricing. Nakanishi changed his stance with the Suga administration taking actions toward its goal to reduce greenhouse emissions to zero by 2050.
Nakanishi said that a “comprehensive plan will be necessary” toward the realization of the Suga administration’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero and accepted entering into discussions on carbon pricing as a policy tool. Nakanishi emphasized, however, that a “solid plan will be needed” and called for caution in deciding on concrete measures.
In its proposal for the fiscal 2020 tax system reform submitted in the fall of 2019, Keidanren claimed that carbon pricing will “bring about the decline of economic activity and global competitiveness.” Keidanren said in the proposal that “although we are at the stage to start concrete discussions” on a carbon tax, we are “opposed” to the tax. Minister of the Environment Shinjiro Koizumi has said that the “global situation has changed.” Koizumi has encouraged Keidanren to take action and launched periodic meetings between the MOE and Keidanren in 2020.