Japan Minister Plans to Oppose 2 Coal Power Plants, Nikkei Says

Japan’s environment minister plans to oppose two new coal-fired power projects amid concerns Japan may fail to meet its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Yoshio Mochizuki plans to submit letters of opposition to the trade minister, the newspaper reported Monday without attribution. The projects are planned in Aichi and Chiba prefectures.

While Japan’s environment ministry oversees environmental impact assessments of power projects, only the trade ministry can give permission to build a power plant.

Chubu Electric Power Co. plans to set up a 1,070-megawatt coal-fired unit to replace older oil-fired units in Aichi prefecture, according to the utility’s website.

Chiba-Sodegaura Energy Co. plans to build a 2,000-megawatt plant in Chiba, according to the website of the company, a venture between Idemitsu Kosan Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co., and Tokyo Gas Co.

The environment ministry will hold a meeting of experts Monday to discuss the voluntary emissions targets submitted this month by power companies, the ministry said on its website. Mochizuki plans to express his opposition after that, the Nikkei reported, without saying how soon the submissions will be made.

The environment ministry is reviewing environmental impact assessment documents submitted for the projects and no decision has been made whether the minister will oppose them, Satoru Iino, a ministry official, said by phone Monday.

In June, Mochizuki submitted a letter saying approval of a 1,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Yamaguchi prefecture is problematic in the context of the need to cut greenhouse gases.