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A senior Japanese business leader urged the government Tuesday to drop an idea to levy a new tax on fossil fuels like oil, warning it could adversely affect people’s livelihood.

“It is unpredictable what impact the envisioned tax will have on people’s livelihood,” Hajime Sasaki told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. Hajime is chief of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives’ (Keizai Doyukai) panel on global environment affairs.

The environment tax, which is now under consideration for possible introduction in the future, would tax fossil fuels on the presumption that it would motivate citizens and businesses to make greater efforts to limit the use of fossil fuels, thus curbing emissions of carbon dioxide.

Sasaki, also chairman of NEC Corp., said Japan’s business community has been limiting the volume of emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases that scientists say induce global warming.

He explained about a program by the Japan Business Federation, another business lobby better known as Nippon Keidanren, that calls for the nation’s combined volume of carbon dioxide emissions in fiscal 2010 to be held below its fiscal 1990 level.

The program calls for manufacturers and offices to implement a range of energy-saving measures.

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