Subcommittee Report on Forestry Policy by Agriculture and Forestry Division of the Liberal Democratic Party ( 27th May 2017)

Jun 19, 2017

On 27th May 2017, Liberal Democratic Party’s Forestry Policy Subcommittee published summary report titled “Direction of Development of Forests, Forestry and Timber Industry in Future”, summarising the discussions held to-date.

The report refers to the necessity of advancing promotion of forest certification such as PEFC and SGEC in Japan and is quite encouraging for us. We summarized the report below for those who are interested.

The report, referring to the fact that trees growing in the plantation forests established after WWII, have now reached the harvest period, closed up the issues attributable to the small-sized and sporadic forest ownership structure in Japan, pointing out the delay in centralization of the operations, improvement of the logging roads network, the demoralisation of forest owners and the consequent nonperformance of adequate forest management.

On the other hand, countermeasures were proposed such as cultivation of forest owners/managers’ responsibility for adequate forest management, establishment of support system by local government and setting up concrete goals for achieving such goals. Furthermore, as a means of the comprehensive from-upstream-to-downstream promotion for grappling with these issues, it was strongly recommended that all concerned parties should work together for realising circulatory use of forest resources.

At the same time, as the means for vitalisation of the wood industry through creation of new demand for domestic wood, enhancement of the domestic wood use and wood export, the report proposed the creation of the new demand such as CLT and fire-resistant wooden materials, proactive promotion of wooden public buildings, grant of incentives for the use of wood, active use of wooden biomass, development of new wood use technology, promotion of JAS for raising the value of solid timber and technology and human resource development.

In addition, the report referred to the recently introduced Clean Wood Law and 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and proposed that the active promotion of the distribution and use of the clean wood and wood certified to forest certification systems should take place as a measure for improving people’s understanding and interest through advancing education in forest and wood.

Furthermore, the report also proposed the promotion of the production of non-wood forest resources such as mushrooms, bamboos, bio-charcoals, landscape preservation of satoyama. Steady commitment for advancement of the reconstruction of the areas damaged by 2011 East Japan Earthquake was raised for concluding the report.

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