*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
In front of the Cabinet Room, 2nd floor, National Diet Building
Power Supply and Demand
To start off, l would like to say two things. Regarding the warning of tight electricity supply-demand situation last week on the 22nd, the media reported it properly, and we managed to pull through with the cooperation of the people. Again, I would like to express my gratitude.
The Situation in Ukraine
Secondly, in response to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Japan has taken strong sanctions against Russia and others in cooperation with the international community. At the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Kishida spoke about additional sanctions, including export bans on luxury goods.
Based on the Cabinet's approval on March 25, a Cabinet decision was made today on the revision of the Export Trade Control Order, which will be promulgated on this date and come into effect on April 5 in order to ban exports of luxury goods to Russia.
As a result, exports of luxury goods such as luxury cars and jewelry to Russia will be banned starting on April 5. The administrative staff will explain the details later.
We will continue to impose strict sanctions in cooperation with the G7 and the rest of the international community while monitoring the situation surrounding Ukraine.
That is all.
Q: I would like to ask you about economic measures in light of the situation in Ukraine. What is METI's focus, and what measures is it considering? In relation to that, please tell us what measures you are considering starting in May to mitigate the surging gasoline prices.
A: At the ministerial discussion earlier, I received instructions from the Prime Minister to formulate comprehensive emergency measures against surging crude oil prices and commodity prices. METI will take measures in the case that crude oil prices continue to rise further, exploring every option without exception, while also assessing the effects of the mitigation measures currently in place against sudden price fluctuations.
In addition, we will continue to diversify our sources of energy, raw materials, and other resources in order to prevent potential disruptions in the stable supply. Furthermore, in response to surging commodity prices, we will continue to move forward with pass-throughs, achieve wage increases, and secure and strengthen support for SMEs’ financing. We will firmly advance concrete discussions in order to minimize the impacts on citizens' lives and economic activity.
With regard to the current measures to curb the surge in crude oil prices, we have decided to extend the mitigation measures against sudden fluctuations of fuel oil prices. These were emergency relief measures originally scheduled to last until the end of March, but they will continue to be in place until the end of April. As I said earlier, I was instructed at the ministerial discussion this morning to compile an action plan to cope with surging crude oil prices by the end of April. As talks between the three parties are taking place, the government as a whole will accelerate discussions on what measures will be effective.