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Gov’t eyes new law to promote renewable energy in farming communities  

Credit:  The Mainichi Daily News, mdn.mainichi.jp 4 January 2012 ~~

TOKYO (Kyodo) – The farm ministry is considering a new law to promote power generation in farming and fishing communities using renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, government sources said Tuesday.

The legislation, envisioned by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry which could be submitted during the upcoming regular parliamentary session starting this month, aims to establish a system under which scattered unused farmland would be consolidated to make room for power generation facilities.

Under the legislation, the central government would first set basic plans to promote renewable energy. Municipal governments such as cities and towns would then draw up basic plans detailing areas where the facilities would be built as well as measures to strengthen agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Municipal governments would be able to set up councils to coordinate between power operators, land owners and local residents, while the operators would be able to receive preferential treatment if their plans are approved, according to the sources.

To consolidate scattered unused farmland, municipal governments would be empowered to transfer ownership and leasing rights to the farmland as an exception.

The measure would be useful when consolidating farmland, given that under the Civil Code farmland transactions need to be conducted by owners themselves, making it difficult to narrow differences among concerned parties.

Source:  The Mainichi Daily News, mdn.mainichi.jp 4 January 2012

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