Car dealer suspected of violating CFC control law

An auto dealership employee and two others are suspected of violating Japan's law on the discharge and control of greenhouse gases called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. Police in Tokyo have sent papers on the three suspects to prosecutors.

Police allege that a 53-year-old Tokyo Subaru official and the 40-year-old president of a demolition company failed to properly dispose of air conditioners that use alternative CFCs. The appliances were destroyed at a dealership in the city of Hachioji that was demolished earlier this year.

Alternative CFCs are used in air conditioners and refrigerators as coolants. But their global warming impact could be more than 10,000 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.

Businesses are required by law to have specialists collect such equipment when they discard them.

Police found that the air conditioners had been improperly disposed of at the demolition site, and that alternative CFCs had been released into the air.

The three suspects, including a demolition company employee, reportedly admitted to the charges during voluntary questioning.

The law on the discharge and control of CFCs was tightened in April last year following a series of violations.

Tokyo police say this case is the first since the penalties were toughened.