Low-emission locales to get aid

JIJI

The infrastructure ministry will strengthen state support for municipalities that aim to create communities with low emissions of carbon dioxide, sources said Monday.

From fiscal 2013, the ministry will allocate existing community development-related subsidies preferentially to projects that help cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Extra subsidies will be given to municipalities working on “compact city” projects to concentrate city functions.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will include the costs in its budget request for fiscal 2013, which starts next April.

The move is in line with the low-emissions city promotion law enacted earlier this year. Under the law, municipalities are encouraged to draw up plans to develop low-emissions communities, with government financial assistance and tax incentives.

Meanwhile, owners of land and buildings in city centers will be awarded tax relief and other special treatment if they sell land and buildings for projects to construct multipurpose buildings that house such facilities as hospitals, child-care centers and stores.