*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Friday, April 22, 2022
First floor lobby, Annex to the House of Representatives
I would like to mention two points.
First, as part of our response to the collective action to release oil stocks agreed to at the IEA's Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting, we posted today a public notice regarding the sale of national oil stockpiles via tenders for the first time since the system was established.
We have launched a tender process for the sale of approximately 5 million barrels of oil at three national oil stockpiling bases, and we will quickly advance the release procedures for the remaining portion.
Please ask the administrative staff for more information.
Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)
Secondly, today, on April 22, we will establish a public-private council to promote the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) jointly with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
SAF can reduce CO2 emissions to help decarbonize the aviation sector, and demand is expected to increase globally. Hence, we must urgently establish an internationally competitive supply system for SAF. To this end, we will promote cooperation between fuel suppliers (oil wholesalers) and users (airline operators) and hold discussions through the SAF public-private council to further advance efforts beyond the boundary of those business sectors.
Please ask the administrative staff for further details if you are interested.
Q: There was a report last night that Shell, which had announced its withdrawal from Sakhalin-2, is negotiating with Chinese companies to sell its interests. Please tell us your views on this and what responses you think the Japanese government can undertake, if any.
A: I am aware of the report that you mentioned, and I will refrain from commenting on the business negotiations of individual companies.
However, as I have already said, I am concerned that if Japan withdraws from the project and Russia or a third country gains interests, it will result in a further surge in natural resource prices or benefit Russia, making sanctions ineffective. I believe that if we give the interests to a third country, such a withdrawal will not deliver a serious blow to Russia, and the concern I just mentioned will become a reality.
In any case, we will continue to closely monitor the situation.