*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Press Conference Room, METI
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Q: At the APEC Summit Meeting held last weekend, Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping announced that he would consider China participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I think that the level of liberalization required by TPP is higher than that of RCEP. What is your view on this?
A: I believe that it is the shared wish of all TPP11 members to spread the rules of TPP11 around the world. From this perspective, I welcome the expressions of interest by various economies.
On the other hand, we need to carefully assess whether economies expressing interest in joining TPP11, including China, are prepared to meet the requirements and standards required by TPP11.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, together with relevant ministries and agencies, will continue to monitor trends in economies that show interest in joining TPP, and as the chair of the TPP Committee next year, we will work to steadily implement and expand TPP11.
Strategic Policy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy
Q: At the energy committee meeting last week, the secretariat proposed the maximum use of renewable energy and nuclear power for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and I understand that it has been decided. The Prime Minister originally indicated that nuclear power would be an option for decarbonization. Would you tell us when and how it was discussed to reach a conclusion that nuclear power would be utilized to its maximum capabilities?
A: It has not been decided, yet.
Q: Some experts say that decarbonization can be achieved without nuclear power. Would you tell us your view on this?
A: We intend to discuss this issue from scratch, and the discussion at the Strategic Policy Committee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy is ongoing.
To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is not a simple challenge. Therefore the government’s basic policy is that it is necessary to employ all resources to the fullest extent. The current Strategic Energy Plan, aiming at an 80% reduction of GHG emission by 2050, clearly stipulates a policy direction to pursue all options including renewable energy, hydrogen, CCS, and nuclear power.
Toward carbon neutrality by 2050, we will make maximum use of not only renewable energy but also anything available, including nuclear power plants confirmed to be safe.
This is on the premise of the 80% reduction scenario. If we are to achieve 100% reduction, we may have to make full use of nuclear power.
As I said, the government’s basic policy has just been presented. It depends on future discussions how this basic policy will be stipulated in the next Strategic Energy Plan.