October 7, 2008

Japan May Oblige Gas, Oil Firms to Use New Energy

Tokyo, Oct. 7 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will consider obliging oil and gas firms to use new energy sources to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel, officials said Tuesday.

An advisory panel to the economy, trade and industry minister will discuss details. The ministry hopes that parliament will pass the new rule next year.

Minister Toshihiro Nikai told a news conference that the ministry will consider wider use of renewable energy sources in order to ensure Japan's energy security.

Following the oil crises in the 1970s, Japan enacted law in 1980 to promote the use of nonfossil energy sources such as solar and wind power in an effort to reduce its dependence on oil.

The ministry now believes that the campaign needs to be expanded in scope because natural gas and coal prices are also soaring.

Japan has already required electricity companies to use a certain amount of new energy sources.END

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