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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 5 - 11  > JCP criticizes government bill for leading to destruction of national forests
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2019 June 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

JCP criticizes government bill for leading to destruction of national forests

June 6, 2019

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko on June 5 at the House plenary meeting criticized a government-proposed bill to revise the law on national forest management that will seriously damage national forests.

The bill will grant major forest companies and for-profit corporations, including construction firms and timber dealers, a 50-year contract to log huge areas of national forests.

Prior to the vote, JCP Kami used her question time to oppose the bill. She pointed out that the proposed revision does not require those who obtain the contract to replant logged areas. She stressed that state-owned forests have various functions, including cultivation and protection of water resources as well as preservation of biodiversity, and said that the proposed bill will cause devastation to national forests and a loss of their function.

Kami also pointed out that the bill will allow large wood industry companies to have a monopoly on cutting down trees while excluding local forest-related firms from public forest lands. She said that it is unacceptable for the government to use public assets to benefit only a handful of large, profit-driven corporations.

The JCP lawmaker criticized the proposed measure for turning its back on the important role played by forests and on the actual problems facing national forests. Kami demanded that the government implement measures to make the forest industry more sustainable rather than promote its pro-business forest policy.

The government-introduced bill was passed and enacted by the majority vote of the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and “Nippon Ishin no Kai” parties.
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