The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to scrap the law governing debt-ridden state oil developer Japan National Oil Corp. as it moves to disband the state firm, a senior energy agency official said.
However, as it has not been decided what form the successor company will take, a bill to repeal the JNOC law will probably not be submitted to the Diet until at least the next ordinary session, to convene in January, the official said Thursday.
Last month, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi agreed with the proposal by Mitsuo Horiuchi, chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council, that the company be dissolved.
The move for its dissolution began soon after the law’s revision, made during the Diet session that closed in June, which was intended to expand JNOC’s functions to enable it to finance projects on existing oil fields.
The ministry has since been discussing what type of entity will succeed JNOC.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma, who oversees the Natural Resources and Energy Agency, has called for maintaining JNOC’s technological expertise as well as its state functions of financing oil exploration projects and stockpiling oil.
Despite the futures of 77 state and public corporations being at stake under Koizumi’s reform initiatives, discussions regarding JNOC have come before others due to Horiuchi’s efforts, the official said.
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