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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 4 - 10  > Opposition parties oppose water privatization
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2018 July 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Opposition parties oppose water privatization

July 6, 2018

The Lower House on July 5 passed a bill to promote private sector entry into public water supplies through its plenary session by the majority vote of the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and "Ishin no Kai" parties, and sent the bill to the Upper House.

The Japanese Communist Party, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Democratic Party for the People, independents, Liberal Party, and Social Democratic Party voted against the bill.

JCP member of the House of Representatives Takahashi Chizuko in opposition to the bill demanded that the Diet discuss the bill thoroughly and that Japan learn from several countries' experiences of renationalizing the water sector.

Under the bill, private companies will be able to enter concession agreements with local governments to have the exclusive right to operate a water supply service. Regarding the granting of operation rights, Takahashi warned that the entry of for-profit entities into public waterworks could negatively affect the safe and stable supply of water.

The bill will also allow understaffed municipal authorities to have a third-party organ supervise private waterworks operators. Takahashi argued that this would go against the present public role of ensuring safe water services.

Water businesses will see a 100-trillion-yen market by 2025. Takahashi said, "Water is vital life and should not be privatized."

Past related articles:
> Osaka City mayor aims to privatize public waterworks [June 20, 2014]
> Cancel involvement in water business abroad: JCP Yoshida to Metropolitan Gov’t [February 25, 2011]
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