More Companies Support Green Tax Than Oppose It In Japan

ichiro kamoshita japan environment minister photo

Photo from AP Can you identify the people in this photo?

Surprise, suprise: Not all companies are opposed to taxes. Mainichi reports (belatedly) from a survey by Japan's Ministry of the Environment, done in July 2008: More than 40 percent of major enterprises in Japan favor the introduction of an environment tax to curb global warming. But I wonder why so few companies bothered to reply to such an important survey. The poll was conducted in July on a total of 6,484 companies, including listed enterprises and unlisted firms with 500 employees or over. A total of 2,819 -- 43.5 percent -- responded. Of the responders, 7 percent approved the introduction of a green tax and 33.6 percent generally approved, depending on the content of the tax. Meanwhile, 11.1 percent were against and 25.8 percent generally disapproved. Sixty-one percent expect the government to use the revenue on prevention of global warming, and 17.8 percent said it should be used to help companies with energy conservation. Only 4 percent said it could be incorporated into the government's general revenue.

But why did less than half of Japan's companies bother to reply to a survey from the government? Isn't that rather disrespectful?

*Environment Ministers, from left, Semen levi, deputy minister of ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia; Ichiro Kamoshita of Japan; John Baird of Canada; Hilary Benn of Secretary of State for Environment; Food and Rural Affairs of Britain; and Matthias Machnig, Secretary State for the Environment of Germany.
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