*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI
The Situation in Ukraine
Q: In a joint statement by the G7, the leaders decided to endeavor to revoke Russia's most favored nation trade status. Please tell us what the Japanese government is doing.
A: The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia undermines the very foundation of international order, and it is extremely regrettable.
In the G7 Summit Statement issued on the 12th (Japan time), the leaders have announced that they will endeavor to take action that will deny Russia Most Favored Nation status.
METI has also promptly responded with sanctions against Russia such as bans on the export of general-purpose goods that may contribute to strengthening the military capabilities of Russia.
The government is currently considering what concrete measures to take in the future based on the status of international discussions. I will refrain from answering at this time.
In any case, we will continue to work closely with the international community, including the G7, and respond appropriately.
Q: Regarding the G7 Summit Statement that has just been mentioned, the statement included an item calling for efforts to reduce energy dependence on Russia. How will Japan address this?
Also, do you think that continuing participation in resource development projects, such as Sakhalin-1, Sakhalin-2 or Arctic LNG 2, is consistent with the aim of reducing dependence?
A: Japan has consistently expressed its policy to respond appropriately in cooperation with international community, including the G7 while prioritizing a stable energy supply and energy security as the national interests to be protected to the maximum extent possible.
In the G7 Summit Statement announced recently, the leaders decided to work further to reduce energy dependence on Russia while ensuring that the world will have enough time to secure an alternative, sustainable supply of energy.
In line with the policy of the G7 Summit Statement, which shows the level of cooperation of the G7 against Russia, Japan will reduce its energy dependence on Russia by diversifying its energy sources, which include renewable energy and nuclear power, and also investing in LNG projects and securing energy sources outside Russia.
Also, you mentioned the Sakhalin-1, Sakhalin-2, and Arctic LNG 2 projects. Regarding them, we plan to take measures in the overall energy structure from the viewpoint of energy security, in line with the policy of the G7 Summit Statement.
The Situation in Ukraine
Q: There is talk that Russia will seize assets of companies from non-friendly countries that withdraw from Russia, and many Japanese companies have suspended operations in Russia. How do you respond to this move by Russia? Will you give us your view on the current situation as well as future prospects?
Also, please tell us about the countermeasures under consideration, if any.
A: I am aware that the Russian Federation has expressed its intention that you speak of. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia undermines the very foundation of international order. It is a blatant violation of international law, and I strongly condemn it. We must act resolutely in order to protect the foundation of international order.
We are working closely with the international community, including the G7, to impose stringent sanctions on Russia. It is highly possible that Russia will retaliate against these sanctions with measures that have an impact on Japanese companies. We are concerned that Russia has expressed some intentions that may cause detriment to the Japanese people and companies, and are closely monitoring the situation.
We have already called on Russia through diplomatic routes to ensure that the legitimate interests of the Japanese people and companies are not compromised, and we will respond appropriately to minimize the impact of those actions in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Q: Regarding economic sanctions on Russia, last week, the Cabinet decided on export restrictions, including those on general-purpose goods, and you mentioned earlier that the details were still under consideration. Can you please touch on the potential effects and the significance of those sanctions that include general-purpose goods.
A: With regard to the recent measures to restrict exports to Russia of general-purpose products, such as semiconductors, computers, and communications devices, I believe that the significance lies in the fact that we are ensuring the effectiveness of the sanctions by working with the United States and European countries and implementing similar measures.
I understand that a series of sanctions implemented in cooperation with the international community has caused various consequences in Russia. We will continue to make every effort in cooperation with the international community.