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METI Minister Nishimura Visits Kyoto

October 3, 2023

On October 1 (Sun.), 2023, Mr. Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the 20th Annual Meeting of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum held in Kyoto. In addition to delivering a speech at a plenary session, he held meetings with participants in the forum.

1. Plenary session of the forum

At the Plenary session, which broached a theme called “Lights and Shadows of AI,” Minister Nishimura delivered a speech and stated that AI, including generative AI, has been evolving at an astonishing pace in recent years, and it is important to promote its public implementation while striking a balance between the benefits and risks of AI and ensuring appropriate management so that the economy and society can widely enjoy such benefits brought about by this innovation. He also explained Japan’s efforts related to semiconductors, storage batteries, and nuclear fusion, which are essential elements in advancing the public implementation of AI.


2. Meetings with participants in the forum

(1) Meeting with Dr. Mark Liu, Chairman, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC)

Minister Nishimura stated that TSMC's investment in Kumamoto is an important project towards reviving Japan's semiconductor industry, and he welcomed the fact that this has stimulated the significant economic ripple effects, including new investments by manufacturers of materials, equipment-related and other companies. In addition, the two sides exchanged views on cooperation and collaboration between Japan and TSMC, including future innovation.


(2) Meeting with Dr. Igor Papič, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Slovenia

Minister Nishimura expressed his deepest sympathies for the devastation in Slovenia caused by severe floods in August 2023. Then, he welcomed the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Slovenia in 2022. Minister Papič expressed Slovenia’s appreciation for past bilateral cooperative ties and raised such issues as the potential for cooperation in the field of hydrogen.

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(3) Meeting with Dr. Marie-Noëlle Semeria, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), TotalEnergies

At the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on such issues as past cooperation in LNG projects and future cooperation in and policies for LNG, and the potential for cooperation in large-scale projects for photovoltaic power generation and offshore wind power generation.

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(4) Meeting with Dr. Svante Pääbo, Director, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Sweden

Minister Nishimura expressed his respect to Director Pääbo for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2022. Following this, the two sides exchanged views on the relationship between infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, and DNA, the importance of science in overcoming the challenges that humans face, the development of young scientists, and other issues.


Division in Charge

International Affairs Office, Technology and Environment Policy Bureau