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METI to Resume Series of Meetings of the Working Group on Electricity Resilience

October 1, 2019

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) decided to resume a series of meetings of the Working Group on Electricity Resilience, a joint working group of: the Electricity and Gas Basic Policy Subcommittee under the Electricity and Gas Industry Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources; and the Electric Power Safety Subcommittee under the Industrial Safety and Consumer Product Safety Committee of the Industrial Structure Council, aiming to examine damages caused by Typhoon No. 15 in 2019, including the prolonged blackouts, the recovery processes therefrom and other challenges in the field of electricity.

1. Purpose of resuming the working group meetings

In the early morning of September 9, 2019, Typhoon No. 15, one of the highest-level typhoons to ever directly hit the Kanto region, landed on the areas around Chiba City from the Tokyo Bay area and traveled through Chiba Prefecture. The typhoon recorded the fastest maximum instantaneous wind speed in the history of weather observation in Japan at 19 observation points and caused storms and heavy rains mainly in the Kanto region. At 7:50 a.m., September 9, it caused blackouts of up to approximately 930,000 households and businesses across wide areas of the region. As seen in this case, the typhoon caused severe damages to wide areas, mainly in Chiba Prefecture.

This natural disaster uncovered some challenges for Japan, such as the prolonged blackouts, the recovery processes therefrom, in particular, the need for quick and accurate ascertaining of the levels of damages and expectations for recovery from them, and information conveyance to the public. Concerning these challenges, the government of Japan, across ministries and agencies, should examine them and identify points to be improved. To this end, the Cabinet Secretariat inaugurated a Team for Examination of Damages Caused by Typhoon No. 15 in 2019, and the team is scheduled to compile its discussion results into a final report by the end of 2019.

Out of a variety of fields subject to such examination of the typhoon across ministries and agencies of the government, METI is requested to report the results of examination in the field of electricity. Accordingly, METI decided to resume a series of meetings of the Working Group on Electricity Resilience to provide opportunities for third-party experts in disaster prevention, power grids and other fields to hold objective and thorough discussions on challenges in responding to the blackouts, such as approaches to ascertaining the levels of damages and presenting expectations for recovery from damages.

2. Outline of the fifth meeting of the working group

Date and time: October 3 (Thur.), 2019; from 18:00 to 20:00
Venue: Lecture hall on the second basement level, METI Main Building

Agenda: Approaches to examination of the recovery processes from the blackouts caused by Typhoon No. 15 and other uncovered challenges

The working group meeting will be broadcast on the internet in order to make it open to the public. If you wish to attend the meeting as a general observer, please watch the meeting on the internet.

The distributed materials and a summary of the minutes of the working group meeting will be released on the websites of METI and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE).

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