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Environmental brief ~ Japan considers household environmental-impact tax

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, Japan is considering a new "Environment Tax" for the fiscal 2005 year that would charge individual households and companies based on the amount of gasoline, gas and other types of fossil fuels they use. The tax was proposed by the Environment Ministry and will now be considered by the Central Environment Council. The expected revenue is proposed to implement policies of the Kyoto Protocol. The Japan Times has the story. In other news, officials from the US and Japan have agreed to extend their meeting on ending Japan's ban on US beef imports. Japan enacted the ban in December 2003, following the first case of "mad-cow" disease (BSE) in the US. US officials have said that complying with Japan's demand that all US-bred cows be tested for the illness would be costly and ineffective, and hope to reach a settlement under different terms. AP has the story.... The Republic of Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will begin to stringently enforce its laws regarding illegal waste transportation and dumping. Contractors from the Republic have been illegally crossing the border and dumping trash into Northern Ireland. BBC has the story.... US Department of the Interior Secretary Norton announced the creation of an Enforcement Committee to aid the Indian Arts and Crafts Board in investigating the sale of fraudulent American Indian products. Enforcement to protect the authenticity of native crafts is proceeding under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. The DOI press release is here.

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