Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak walks at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

November 27, 2020

By Daniel Leussink and Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party will urge the government to lay out a big, decade-long spending programme to promote green investment, a draft proposal obtained by Reuters showed on Friday, a nod to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s carbon emission goals.

Suga has made a green society one of his key policy priorities, pledging that Japan will aim for net-zero emissions by 2050.

The government should create a fund with a size “comparable to global standards” that supports companies that make high-risk investments in green technology, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said in the draft proposal to the government.

“By deploying all policy means available, the public and private sectors must work together to achieve zero carbon emission in 2050,” it added, calling for deregulation and tax breaks to promote green investment.

The proposal also urged the government to take steps to promote electric vehicles and battery development and called for expanding or creating new state-backed loan and loan guarantee schemes to support firms hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal is set to be finalised later on Friday.

The LDP’s recommendations will serve as a basis for the government’s deliberations on a fresh stimulus package, which Suga has ordered his cabinet to develop.

(This story corrects target year for achieving zero emission in fourth paragraph to 2050, not 2020)

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink, writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Lincoln Feast.)

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