- Press Conferences and Statements
- Press Conferences
- Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)
Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)
*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
In front of the Cabinet Room, 2nd floor, National Diet Building
Power Supply and Demand
To start off, I would like to say two things.
First, thermal power generation has been temporarily shut down due to the earthquake off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture on the 16th. Today, solar power generation is not operating due to the bad weather in eastern Japan. The temperature during the day is much lower than normal, and the electricity demand in TEPCO's service area is unusually high for this time of the year. All of this means that the power supply situation will be extremely tight.
In order to ensure a stable supply of electricity, we issued a warning of tight electricity supply-demand situation, and ask homes and businesses to cooperate with saving as much electricity as possible by, for example, turning down the heater as long as it does not interfere with daily life and turning off unused lights.
Also, depending on the trends in power supply today, we may ask for further cooperation with power conservation efforts. The administrative staff will provide updates on the situation as necessary.
Visit to Europe
Second, from tonight to the 26th, I will travel to France and Belgium to attend the IEA Ministerial Meeting and exchange views with the IEA ministers and the European Commission ministers.
In France, I will attend the IEA Ministerial Meeting, where I will participate in sessions and meet with the ministers of major countries to deepen discussions on strengthening energy security in light of the situation in Ukraine as well as achieving both energy security and energy transitions. In addition, I intend to participate in the online G7 Trade Ministers' Meeting from Paris to confirm the solidarity of the G7 countries in terms of trade policy, including economic sanctions against Russia.
In Belgium, I will meet with my counterpart from the European Commission to discuss deepening the Japan-EU relationship in light of the situation in Ukraine and the cooperation with like-minded countries.
As the global situation becomes unstable due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I intend to further strengthen relationships with like-minded countries through this visit, and work together to address various issues in the area of trade and energy market stability.
As I am traveling while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I would like to make every effort to ensure preventive measures are taken, with the help of the host countries.
That is all.
IEA Ministerial Meeting
Q: I would like to ask you about the IEA Ministerial Meeting. I believe each member state takes different positions, but I would like to ask you about your intentions as a minister and what kind of statement you would like to make as a representative of Japan.
A: I will refrain from speculating on the details of the statement now. However, at the meeting, I would like to deepen discussions on energy security in light of the situation in Ukraine while achieving both energy security and clean energy transitions. I would also like to reiterate the importance of a realistic and diverse approach whereby each country chooses the best combination from a wide range of energy sources and technologies in accordance with their own circumstances.
Q: I have a question related to IEA. While Japan may share basic thinking with other member countries, I believe the government's policy is that it is going to maintain the interests in Sakhalin-1 and -2. Are you going to explain that idea to other member countries and ask them for their understanding? Once again, could you reiterate the significance of not withdrawing from the Sakhalin projects?
A: The G7 also shares the idea of responding to issues in the energy sector based on the circumstances of each country and its principles in terms of energy security. For this reason, I do not plan to ask other participants at this IEA Ministerial Meeting for their understanding of our policy on individual energy projects. We have interests in Sakhalin-1 and -2, which are extremely important projects for our energy security, and have the right to offtake on a long-term basis. That being said, Japan will continue to make further efforts to reduce its dependency on Russian energy, as stated in the G7 Leaders' Statement, while ensuring a stable supply of energy. As IEA member states have already been holding several online meetings, I think that they all understand the differences in the circumstances of each country. I believe that there is an understanding of the Japanese government's efforts without repeated explanations.