Japanese Government to Offer Financial Aid to Companies Switching From Imported to Domestic Lumber

Following the Japanese’s governments ban of lumber imports from Russia, as part of Tokyo’s economic sanctions for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan’s Forestry Agency announced plans today (5-17-22) to offer financial aid to companies switching their lumber consumption from foreign to domestic sources. The aid program for switching to domestic lumber was included in the government’s comprehensive emergency package of measures to address soaring prices, which was adopted late last month.

The Forestry Agency will start accepting applications for the aid this month from lumber companies and others. The agency will use about 4 billion yen out of reserve funds set aside under the government’s fiscal 2022 budget as resources for the subsidies. Details, such as the cap on the subsidies, will be decided later.

According to the Agency, it will provide subsidies to cover half of costs of domestic lumber transportation by land if the travel distance totals 100 kilometers or longer. Transport by sea will also be eligible for the subsidies. The government agency will also cover half of lumber storage costs.

Furthermore, the agency will shoulder part of homebuilders’ lumber procurement costs, with the sum of the aid varying depending on the amount of domestic lumber they use. It will also cover their costs of altering house designs if such changes become necessary due to switching to domestic lumber whose strength differs from that of foreign lumber used previously.

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