Vice-Minister for International Affairs Hirose Attends the 2021 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and the WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting
October 14, 2021
A Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level (MCM) and a WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting were held in Paris on October 5 and 6 and on October 5 respectively, and Mr. Hirose Naoshi, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, attended them as the representative of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
1. About the Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level (MCM)
- This MCM was held under the presidency of the United States, with "Shared Values: Building a Green and Inclusive Future" as the theme. A ministerial council statement was adopted. Besides Vice-Minister for International Affairs Hirose, Mr. Okamura Yoshifumi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD, and Mr. Shoda Yutaka, Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, also attended the meeting as representatives of Japan. (The latter attended online.) Vice-Minister for International Affairs Hirose attended Agenda 4: Building a Green Future - Getting to Net Zero and Agenda 5: Promoting Trade for All.
Agenda 4: Building a Green Future - Getting to Net Zero
In the Breakout Group meeting for the agenda, which was titled Innovation and Inclusive Pathways to Net-Zero (chaired by Mr. John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate), Vice-Minister Hirose stated that becoming carbon neutral will require substantially spurring on structural transitions in the energy and industry sectors, and creating innovation through bold investment by private companies. He pointed out that for that reason, it will be important to take a dynamic approach that includes future innovation rather than being limited to existing technologies. He also shared information about transition financing initiatives based on the idea of advancing such transitions.
Agenda 5: Promoting Trade for All
Regarding this agenda (chaired by Ms. Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative), Vice-Minister Hirose stated that promoting responsible corporate conduct will be the key to eradicating forced and child labor from global supply chains, and that it is the government’s role to ensure the foreseeability and transparency of companies by developing an environment that is conducive to their active commitment. In addition, regarding level playing fields, he said that although the OECD provides a basis for international discussions on matters like steel and semiconductors, he expects investigations to be conducted to further clarify the actual situation regarding market-distorting government support.
2. About the WTO Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade
This WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting was hosted by Australia with the outcomes of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) as the theme, and Vice-Minister Hirose and Mr. Yamazaki Kazuyuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva, attended as representatives of Japan.
In the meeting, Vice-Minister Hirose stated that in order to demonstrate its significance at MC12, the WTO should show political determination regarding trade and health, including restraining export restrictions. He also said that after MC12, the WTO should promote negotiations on matters such as digitalization and the environment, and that he wanted MC12 to be harnessed as an opportunity to start discussing dispute resolution procedures.
Division in Charge
Information on the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting
International Economic Affairs Division, Trade Policy Bureau
Information on the WTO Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade
Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau