Ministry backs tax increases

3 November 2002

The Japanese government has approved increases in the nuclear fuel tax imposed on nuclear plants proposed by two prefectural authorities, along with an additional new tax in one of the prefectures based on fuel weight.

Tax increases of 3% will be imposed on nuclear fuel by Ishikawa and Fukushima prefectures, to take effect in October and November, respectively. The increase will bring the total rate to 10%.

Fukushima will also impose an additional tax based on fuel weight, to be charged at a rate of $50 per kg of fuel. This will bring the total effective rate in Fukushima to 13.5%.

Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Post and Telecommunications accepted the proposed increases after convening a meeting of its Local Finance Council, but it also warned that nuclear power companies should not be seen as "easy targets for tax increases". It said it was showing understanding on the desire to raise taxes to contribute to a likely need for new disaster prevention measures beyond current levels, and given that problems and events at some nuclear facilities had caused citizens to lose confidence.

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