Characteristics of Japanese Policy Making Process -- Finding from the Carbon Tax Consideration History

Monday, July 14, 2014: 8:15 PM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Shinji ONODA , Graduate School of Social Governance, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan
After spending more than two decades for consideration, Japan introduced the carbon tax (officially named “Tax for Climate Change Mitigation”) on October 1st, 2012. Japanese carbon tax adds a tax rate of JPY289 per ton CO2 emissions above tax rates to the petroleum and coal tax. Compared to the carbon taxes in European countries, its features can be seen in its low tax rate, revenue increase and earmarked for energy-oriented CO2 emissions.

Generally, a policy is established through a certain policy making process where not only rationality of policy contents are considered but also the interests of various stakeholders under political, social and economic circumstances are adjusted. In order to introduce appropriate policies for achieving a low-carbon society, it is essential to find problems of policy making processes and constantly strives for their improvements. Therefore, this study aims at approaching for elucidation of the characteristics of Japanese policy making process by investigating the carbon tax consideration history.

The analysis will be divided into three stages: (1) from start of consideration (beginning of 1990s) till the establishment of the petroleum and coal tax (2003); (2) from 2003 till the change of government (2009); and (3) from 2009 till the enforcement (2012), so that it makes easier to grasp the trends of discussion. For this analysis, the chronological method and a sociological theory called “organization theory” forwarded by Michael Crozier and Erhard Friedberg will be applied. The organization theory is one of analytical methods for organizations/systems, which assumes that individual persons/groups pursue “rational strategies” under “structured conditions” defined by various factors such as political systems, procedures, historical legacies and international trends. Data will be corrected from materials of study commissions for carbon tax, the Diet and related organizations as well as from interviews with politicians, ministerial staff, industries, NGOs and researchers.