Japan Slams Canada's Green Energy Regulations

Canada's Ontario province has launched a 'Feed-in Tariff' Program that requires the use of Ontario-made products in manufacturing power-generating facilities.

Japan has complained to the World Trade Organization that a renewable energy program operated by Ontario, Canada, violates WTO rules and is protectionist, officials said on Sept. 14.

Canada's Ontario province has launched a "Feed-in Tariff" (FIT) Program that requires the use of Ontario-made products in manufacturing power-generating facilities, Japan's foreign ministry said.

"Japan considers that this requirement for the use of locally made products violates" the WTO's rules that ban discrimination against products made overseas, it said.

The FIT Program demands that companies looking to sell electricity made from renewable sources to Ontario must procure 50% of parts for their facilities from local manufacturers. The ratio will rise to 60% next year.

Japan has asked Canada to reconsider its decision. It will now undergo formal consultations under the WTO with the Canadian government.

If the next round of negotiations fail, Japan will likely ask the WTO to set up a panel for dispute settlement, the official said.

Japan has many companies in the solar energy space, including Sharp, Kyocera, Sanyo and Mitsubishi Electric, as well as major suppliers of components and wind systems.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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