Taxes we paid are too often used to finance public projects,
which, far from addressing the existing environmental problems,
burden the environment and cause even more environmental damage.
For example, despite criticism from the citizens and NGOs, a
lot of the spending still goes to excessive constructions of
public utilities, adding to the environmental burden and energy
On the other hand, compared to EU countries that have already
introduced various kinds of environmental taxes, in Japan,
environmental considerations are hardly integrated into the
making of fiscal policies. The introduction of fiscal instruments,
such as carbon taxes, is still under examination. So far the
progress toward the introduction of carbon
taxes and other kinds of environmental
taxes has been rather slow. To accelerate the process,
it would not only require the efforts of the Ministry of Environment,
but also the collaborative efforts of other ministries, political
parties, businesses and industries and NGOs.
A green tax reform is a structural change of the existing
fiscal system (both on the national- and regional-level) from
the environmental perspective. It entails the following two
the existing fiscal system that has little concern for the
(e.g. cease funding for public projects that cause destruction
of the environment)
(2) Use fiscal
instrument to address environmental problems
(e.g. introduce carbon taxes and
other environmental taxes, strengthening
fiscal reform that integrates these two aspects would bring
structual change to the existing social and economic system.
This is crucial for the construction of a sustainable society.
Besides, a change
in the policymaking process is also required to facilitate
the green tax reform. The current policymaking process tends
to represent the industries and certain special interest groups
only. Voice of the citizens should be heard in the policymaking
The green tax reform
requires the cooperation among ministries, participation of
diet members and industry representatives, sharing of information
between NGOs and policymakers, and most importantly, the involvement
of citizens in the process..