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Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)

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

10:05-10:18 a.m.
Friday, October 8, 2021
Press Conference Room, METI

Opening Remarks

Introducing New State Ministers and Parliamentary Vice-Ministers

I would like to mention two points at the start.
First, on the 6th, the State Ministers and Parliamentary Vice-Ministers of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry were officially decided, and a new administration was launched. Hosoda Kenichi and Ishii Masahiro were appointed State Ministers, and Iwata Kazuchika and Yoshikawa Yumi were appointed Parliamentary Vice-Ministers. All of them have extensive experience and knowledge related to economic and industrial policy, and I have tremendous faith in them. The five of us will all work together steadily on economic and industrial policy, in accordance with instructions from the Prime Minister.

Chiba Northwest Earthquake

The second point concerns the earthquake that struck northwestern Chiba yesterday, including the damage situation.
The earthquake occurred at 22:41 yesterday, with an epicenter in the northwestern area of Chiba Prefecture. Following this, METI set up a disaster contact office at 22:43, and proceeded to establish communications with industry associations and other organizations, and gather information.
Regarding the damage to the industries under our jurisdiction, reports say that about 250 homes in Shinjuku, Tokyo lost power immediately after the earthquake, but power was soon restored. There was also a fire at a refinery in Sodegaura City, Chiba Prefecture, but it was extinguished promptly and a stable supply of oil was not compromised.
Other than that, no particular damage to city gas, petrol stations, manufacturing industries, and other facilities has been reported at present.
The Japan Meteorological Agency is calling for caution regarding earthquakes with a maximum intensity of 5 plus over the next week in areas that experienced intense shaking. METI will therefore continue to closely monitor the situation and spare no effort in responding, in cooperation with power, gas, and other companies concerned.
That's all from me. Thank you.

Question-and-Answer Session

Hydrogen and Ammonia

Q: "Beyond-Zero" Week was held this week along with the first Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting and International Conference on Fuel Ammonia.
Expectations are especially growing toward hydrogen and ammonia. Could you tell us about the outcomes of this "Beyond-Zero" Week and challenges to be addressed regarding them?

A: METI is holding Tokyo "Beyond-Zero" Week 2021 from October 4 to 8. The week consists of eight international conferences on matters including hydrogen, ammonia, and energy transition in Asia.
With regard to hydrogen and ammonia, we are ready to speed up international cooperation toward constructing new supply chains for them through demonstrations of offshore transportation and the development of power generation technologies.
With a view toward decarbonization in Southeast Asia, we will provide comprehensive assistance measures based on each country's actual economic and energy situations, including support for roadmap development, financial assistance of 10 billion dollars, innovation support, human resources development, and knowledge sharing. I am expecting the conferences to provide opportunities for us to clearly express how we intend to use these measures to offer assistance closely adapted to the individual needs of the recipient countries in ways that only Japan is capable of. The event will be a chance for us to draw attention both at home and abroad to our commitment to playing a leading role in new energy policy in Asia.

Energy Transition

Q: Let me ask an energy-related question. As power supply is becoming increasingly unstable in China, Japanese businesses are beginning to see an impact on the procurement of raw materials and components. Local reports say a similar situation is being experienced in India, where coal-fired power generation accounts for 70% of all power.
The Japanese government has been providing energy-related assistance through coal-fired power generation mainly to Southeast Asia. What are your opinions on the current situation in India, and do you plan to provide it with similar assistance?

A: Coal-fired power remains an important energy source in Asia, a region where growth is expected in the future.
In order to achieve realistic energy transitions—or transitions toward decarbonization—in Asia, it will be necessary to support each country by making use of all energy sources and technologies in accordance with their circumstances. To that end, this May, Japan announced the Asia Energy Transition Initiative by way of a comprehensive support program. Based on this, we have implemented support measures with each country's circumstances taken into consideration. These include support for roadmap development, financial assistance of 10 billion dollars, innovation support, and human resources development.
I hope that through the initiative, we can find an approach that will help us move forward hand in hand with India while devising support measures tailored to it, so that countries that consume a great deal of coal-fired power will be able to reduce their emissions while maintaining a balance in relation to economic development and their citizens' livelihoods.

Last updated:2021-10-20