Steel industry worries about tax> The nation’s steel industry on Oct. 27 voiced firm opposition to a carbon dioxide emissions tax, warning that it would seriously damage Japanese companies’ competitiveness in global markets.

Representatives of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation requested that the idea be rejected during a meeting with Mitsuo Horiuchi, minister for international trade and industry, according to a MITI official. Industry leaders said a carbon dioxide tax could accelerate the hollowing of the steel industry and lead to an increase in worldwide emissions. They also asked the government to respect their voluntary efforts to reduce energy consumption, rather than impose mandatory numerical targets through an energy conservation law, the MITI official said.

Last December, the federation volunteered to reduce industrywide consumption during production by 10 percent of the 1990 level, by 2010.

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