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Doorstep Interview with Minister Seko (excerpted version)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purpose only.

18:04 - 18:10
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Front Entrance Hall, METI

Opening Remarks

Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake

As for today's electricity supply and demand in Hokkaido, the number of blackouts has already decreased to 6,996 as of 16:00 today. We are going to resolve power shortages before the end of the day today, except for some areas where access is difficult due to landslides.

Through efforts for increasing supply capacity, we have thus far secured approximately 3.46 million kilowatts, but the demand forecast for the beginning of the week is expected to be 3.83 million kilowatts at peak hour, so we will need to make up the difference of 10 percent through electricity-saving efforts.

In addition, as there are also risks such as malfunction of aging thermal power generation facilities, and the fact that certain types of facilities like hospitals and water and sewerage systems cannot adopt electricity-saving measures, we would like to ask each family, business, and industry, for maximum efforts for electricity savings towards the goal of 20 percent savings.

While striving to maximize electricity saving and making efforts to further increase supply capacity, it has been decided at the meeting of relevant Cabinet Ministers today, based on the instructions of Prime Minister Abe yesterday, that we will prepare for planned blackouts in order to be ready for an emergency, and if it is inevitable and absolutely necessary to avoid a situation where supply-demand balance collapses again and a large-scale blackout occurs, we will put contingency plans into action.

We strongly hope that we will avoid planned blackouts. We will do our utmost to further increase supply capacity. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will firmly request large-scale electricity consumers to engage in energy-saving measures.

By joining together all the people and efforts in Hokkaido, including individuals, businesses, electric power companies, and the government, we would sincerely like to overcome this situation and avoid possible planned blackouts.

Regarding planned blackouts, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. will make a judgement based on the assessment of the supply-demand situation. We are supposed to inform the public about the possibility of implementation of planned blackouts two days before doing so.

As I request everyone in Hokkaido to save electricity as much as possible, I reiterate my strong hope to avoid implementation of planned blackouts. As of this moment, there will be no plan to implement such planned blackouts on Monday, Sept 10, not to mention tomorrow.

Last updated:2018-11-21