Koizumi's Remarks on Coal-Fired Power Plant Exports Draw Mixed Opinions

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi's recent remarks raising doubts over the country's coal-fired power plant exports have drawn a backlash from within the government and ruling bloc, while earning favorable responses from opposition lawmakers.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Koizumi pointed out that a project in Vietnam, in which Japan is involved, does not meet government standards for coal-fired thermal power plant exports.

An official at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party criticized the remarks. "I understand his desire to demonstrate his presence, but he should be careful with what he says so that his remarks won't be taken as discord within the cabinet," the official said.

Koizumi's remarks came as Japan's coal-fired thermal power plant exports are under fire from the international community as counter to efforts to fight global warming.

He has been exploring ways to restrain such exports, but he has been unable to present specific measures as the environment minister has no authority over infrastructure exports and energy policy.

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