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As discussions on administrative reform continue within a government council, the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake agreed Aug. 19 to call for creation of an environment ministry with stronger power to administer environmental issues such as waste, chemical pollution and global environmental problems.

The two non-Cabinet allies of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said that the current Environment Agency has little power over environmental issues administered by other ministries. At present, waste issues are covered by the Health and Welfare Ministry, and forestry concerns are partly dealt with by the Forestry Agency.

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