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Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)

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

10:41-10:56 a.m.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI

Question-and-Answer Session

Soaring Oil Product Prices

Q: My question is about the additional measures for the rising crude oil prices.
The Prime Minister stated that the government is considering all possible measures, not excluding putting the trigger clause into effect. How are the discussions regarding the additional measures going?
In addition, the situation in Ukraine is intensifying. Please tell us when you are planning to announce the measures along with any schedules.

A: Crude oil prices, which were already high, are on an increasingly upward trend due to the intensifying situation in Ukraine, and there are concerns about the impact it will have on corporate activity and daily life. We will continue to cautiously monitor the developments in crude oil prices.
The government as a whole will carefully examine what measures are effective while assessing how long these soaring crude oil prices will last and exploring every option without exception, based on the instructions given by Prime Minister Kishida.
In any case, the mitigation measures that are currently in place against sudden price fluctuations will last until the end of March, and I believe that we must determine by then what direction to take from April onward, so we will continue to consider these measures.

The Situation in Ukraine

Q: In relation to the question earlier, the situation in Ukraine is intensifying. In the event that Russia invades Ukraine, what impact do you think it may have on Japan, including the supply of materials important to semiconductors and energy? Also, please tell us about the status of any solutions you have prepared in case of such an event.

A: Regarding the situation in Ukraine, we are monitoring very carefully not only the concerns that you pointed out about ensuring a stable supply of energy and important materials, but also the recent upward trend in crude oil prices and its impact on Japanese firms.
It is extremely important to ensure a stable and inexpensive supply of energy. In this regard, for example, Japan has about 240 days' worth of oil reserves. In addition, power and gas companies have two or three weeks' worth of LNG in stock, and we will continue to make the utmost effort to ensure every preparation possible.
You also pointed out semiconductors. I have not heard of significant negative impact on the production from major companies at this time, as it is possible to procure the materials from several other countries. I will continue to listen carefully to the voices of the related industries and monitor the situation.
METI will cooperate with the international community, including the G7, and take appropriate measures to minimize the impact of the situation in Ukraine on Japanese business activities.

The Situation in Ukraine

Q: Again on the situation in Ukraine, some reports have said that Japan has begun considering participating in a framework of export control to be led by the United States in the event of an emergency, for the products that contain advanced technologies, such as semiconductors, AI, and robots. What are the current considerations and discussions regarding sanctions against Russia in the event of an emergency?

A: The situation in Ukraine is an issue related to the order of not just Europe, but the international community, including Asia. Japan is monitoring the situation with great concern, and will continue to respond appropriately in cooperation with the international community, including the United States and the rest of the G7.
We will take appropriate action in cooperation with the United States and the rest of the G7 and the international community. However, due to the nature of this matter, I would like to refrain from commenting on the status of our considerations.

Last updated:2022-03-24