Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. and Mitsui & Co. plan to launch a 10 billion yen fund that will construct 10 or more large solar power plants across the country.

Mitsui is to build, operate and maintain the facilities, each expected to have an output capacity of 1-2 MW, and has a list of 10 high insolation sites. Tohoku, the region hit hardest by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, is among the areas under consideration.

Tokio Marine Asset will look after investment. The fund is to target annual returns of 3-4%. If investment goes beyond 10 billion yen a second phase with a target of 100 billion yen in five years will be initiated.

The Japanese government hopes to promote the use of renewable energy in the wake of the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It aims to introduce next fiscal year legislation that will require utilities to buy power generated from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and biomass.