23 December 2017 – The fiscal 2018 tax reform outline, adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition, calls for introducing the forest environment tax to finance efforts to manage and conserve abandoned forests across Japan, beginning in fiscal year 2024. It will be imposed in the form of a uniform ¥1,000 annual surcharge on the individual residential tax currently paid by roughly 60 million people nationwide, amounting to ¥60 billion per year in total. However, the tax revenue will be distributed among more than 1,750 prefectures and municipalities. One problem with the planned scheme is that the amount distributed to individual local governments will be small, raising doubts as to how effective the money will be for each municipality to fund its forestry management efforts. Read the full article on the Japan Times website.