*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Friday, December 17, 2021
In front of the Cabinet Room, 2nd floor,
National Diet Building
Clean Energy Strategy
Q: The first meeting to discuss a clean energy strategy was held yesterday. The scope of the discussions is very broad. How will this all be compiled into a policy within the six months, by June 2022?
A: Discussions on a clean energy strategy started yesterday at a joint meeting between the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy and the Industrial Structure Council. I have received a report that at yesterday's meeting, they discussed the current situation of energy use from various perspectives, such as issues when formulating a clean energy strategy, international trends, and Japan's industrial structure.
We will hold discussions and conduct interviews with industries on individual themes from the beginning of next year and then review them, working toward compiling the results around June.
Q: Nuclear power will naturally be discussed as part of any clean energy strategy. However, newly installing or replacing nuclear power plants is not even included in the Strategic Energy Plan as a result of the large amount of debate surrounding the topic. As this issue is not included in the Strategic Energy Plan, there may be some expectations for further discussions on this and other postponed issues. What are your thoughts on all of this?
A: With regard to nuclear energy policy, we will proceed on the basis of the Strategic Energy Plan approved by the Cabinet in October.
The Strategic Energy Plan stipulates that we will proceed with comprehensive and responsible measures to address various issues surrounding nuclear energy projects, which includes restarting nuclear power plants, measures on spent fuel, the nuclear fuel cycle, final disposal, and decommissioning. The plan's purpose is to gain credibility with citizens and promote the stable use of nuclear energy based on the fundamental premise of ensuring safety.
Future discussions on a clean energy strategy are expected to be carried out as part of the Green Growth Strategy formulated in June and the Strategic Energy Plan. We would like to deepen discussions on nuclear technology and human resource development.
Additional Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Products
Q: There are reports that the United States has made a proposal regarding additional US tariffs on steel and aluminum products. Please tell us about the current state of negotiations.
A: We are presently working hard on negotiations. Some reports may have come out in America, but Japan and the United States are currently in talks to resolve the issue of additional tariffs on Japanese steel and aluminum products based on Section 232 of the U.S.'s Trade Expansion Act. I would like to refrain from commenting on details of the talks at this time.
In any case, Japan still intends to fully resolve this in a manner consistent with the WTO agreements, so we will continue our efforts.