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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 February 23 - March 1  > Cancel involvement in water business abroad: JCP Yoshida to Metropolitan Gov’t
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2011 February 23 - March 1 [TOKYO]

Cancel involvement in water business abroad: JCP Yoshida to Metropolitan Gov’t

February 25, 2011
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government should cancel its involvement in a water business project abroad that will serve the interest of specific corporations. That is what Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member Yoshida Nobuo (Japanese Communist Party) argued at an assembly special budget committee meeting on February 23.

Yoshida stated, “Though it’s important to make use of Tokyo’s high technology for an international contribution, the metropolitan government’s entry into the project in league with specific profit-making enterprises will pose a risk of huge financial losses.”

The metropolitan government last year decided to support United Utilities Australia (UUA), which was bought out by a consortium consisting of Mitsubishi Corporation, JGC Corporation, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and the Philippines’ Manila Water Company. Tokyo Suido Services Co., Ltd., an extra-departmental body of the metropolitan government, is going to take part in the UUA consulting service.

Yoshida pointed out that participation in the global water business market will be contrary to the concept of publicly-funded companies which are designed to promote the public welfare.

He cited a case in which leading water suppliers had, rather than improving the lives of people in developing countries, prevented the people’s access to drinking water due to a sharp rise in the water rates. Met with a fierce backlash from local residents, these companies had withdrawn from water businesses there, the assemblyman said.

He argued that the water business project will not help solve the problem of world poverty.
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