Govt adopts bill for forest management

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government adopted at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday a bill to establish a “forest bank” that allows municipalities to thin or cut down forests neglected by the owners.

The government plans to submit the bill to the ongoing ordinary session of the Diet, set to close on June 20, aiming to put it into force in fiscal 2019, which starts in April 2019.

The bill seeks to clarify owners’ responsibility for forest management.

Under the planned legislation, municipalities would be entrusted with forest management if the owners are unable to take charge of their forests due to old age, residence at remote locations and other reasons, and then outsource the management to motivated and competent business operators.

If qualified contractors cannot be found due to low profitability of forests, municipalities would directly manage abandoned forests using revenue from a forest environment tax to be introduced in fiscal 2024.

For fiscal 2019-2023, the central government plans to distribute necessary funds.Speech

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