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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 September 27 - October 3  > JCP Dietmembers report on overseas trips as legislative members
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2023 September 27 - October 3 [POLITICS]

JCP Dietmembers report on overseas trips as legislative members

October 1, 2023
Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira and Tamura Takaaki, and JCP member of the House of Councilors Kira Yoshiko have taken part in overseas inspection tours as members of the Diet. The followings are their reports on their overseas trips.


I visited Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Germany between August 20 and August 26 as a tour member of the Lower House on the theme of climate crisis. We conducted on-site observations and held exchanges of views with each government, congress, and several private entities.

Through my visit to Europe, I found that the Japanese government is certainly lagging behind European countries in the seriousness of the effort to respond to the climate crisis. Even some Liberal Democratic Party legislators were amazed by the extent of renewables in energy supply in each country.

All countries we visited this time have an ambitious target for CO2 reductions and for a 100% use of renewables. They are making serious efforts to cope with global climate change and to secure alternative energy sources since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I was impressed with the scene of many wind turbines standing up on the ground and in the sea in each country.

Demark aims to achieve a 100% use of renewables by 2030. We visited a wind farm and were told that a cooperative union consisting of civic investors owns 50% of the farm's interests. I found that power generation businesses in Denmark are operating with citizens' participation while gaining their consensus on many issues such as location requirements.

I saw many people riding bicycles on the bicycle roads. A Toyota Motor employee told me that he also commutes to work by bike.

This tour makes me realize again that Japan should depart from nuclear power generation and shift into full gear on the promotion of renewables right now. I will adopt lessons learned on this trip and utilize them for my work in the Diet.


I toured around Iceland and Germany as a member of an Upper House investigation committee on natural resources and energy between September 3 and September 10.

Germany in April began carrying out measures to achieve net-zero nuclear power. We visited a federal facility for radioactive waste disposal. The person in charge emphasized that they pick a scientifically recommended location. The person told us that in the process of selecting locations, they discuss and communicate with local residents and experts, and that they keep in touch with local residents on a regular basis.

In Iceland, geothermal power generation accounts for 90% of electricity. The head of the National Energy Authority expressed willingness to spread Icelandic geothermal technologies and knowledge across the world. The head is a woman in her 40s. I feel that the appointment of women to key posts in politics in Iceland epitomizes the world's most advanced gender equal country.

I will work in the Diet to inform members as well as the general public about overseas measures toward zero nuclear power and toward serious promotion of renewable sources of energy.


With several other Lower House Financial Affairs Committee members, I went to Germany and Britain between August 26 and August 31. In our 5-day tour, we visited 19 locations and learned about minimum wage and value-added tax (VAT) systems there. It was a very tight schedule.

In Germany, we met with a corporate organization of German workers. Unlike Japan, Germany has a uniform minimum wage system. In the meeting, they explained that the across-the-board system is the right way as it designates the minimum rate to pay in exchange for labor performed. They also explained that the country's social security system helps business owners to pay employees at least the minimum wage. I hope that LDP legislators have deepened their understanding of the need to have an across-the-board minimum wage system in Japan as well.

Germans can go to public schools and public gradual schools free of charge, and I think Japan should do the same.

The U.K. has a system of VAT which we call the consumption tax here in Japan. Here again, unlike Japan, VAT is not levied on daily necessities such as food products, tap water for home use, newspapers, magazines, domestic transportation, and medicines.

Countermeasures against rising prices and against people's hardships in life will be on the agenda of the upcoming extraordinary Diet session. I hope I can utilize what I learned from the overseas trip in the coming session.
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