• Kyodo News

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In a bid to revive the sluggish forestry sector, new low-rise public facilities such as schools and libraries will be built with timber, reversing the government’s no-wood policy, government sources said Monday.

Under the proposal, buildings with a height of up to 9 meters and total floor space of up to 3,000 sq. meters will be made of wood, the sources said. The regulations will cover the majority of one- and two-story public facilities.

Buildings taller than 9 meters will be required to use lumber for interiors, equipment and fuel, the sources said.

Exceptions include prisons, facilities to accommodate evacuees from natural disasters, and storage depots for hazardous materials or high-value cultural assets, they said.

The proposal comes in the wake of Friday’s enforcement of a law to promote the use of timber for public construction. The central government will release progress of its efforts annually, and local governments will be called on to follow suit.

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