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2024 March 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

JCP Kasai opposes CCS project because of risk of accidents

March 25, 2024

Japanese Communist Party representative Kasai Akira, at a meeting of the Lower House Committee on Economy and Industry on March 22, opposed a bill pertaining to the proposed “carbon capture and storage (CCS)” project which would capture, transport, and store greenhouse gases emitted from the steel and chemical industries as well as from fossil fuel power stations.

Kasai pointed to the CO2 pipeline rupture that occurred in 2020 in the United States, in which nearly 300 residents were forced to evacuate their homes and at least 45 residents were hospitalized.

Kasai asked, “Is the government aware that a CCS pipeline explosion could cause significant damage as well as injury to residents?” Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Saito Ken in response could not deny the risk of accidents.

Kasai noted that the bill largely reflects the requests made by 19 corporations and interest groups at a METI-hosted meeting on a CCS project which was held on October 31, 2022. According to Kasai, nine out of the 19 business entities, including Mitsubishi Corporation, the Petroleum Association of Japan, and the Japan Iron and Steel Federation, in the same year provided a total of 214 million yen in political donations to the LDP’s political fund-managing organization.

Kasai pointed out that it is highly possible that these business groups gave political donations to the LDP for policy-buying purposes.
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