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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

11:09-11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

ALPS Treated Water

First of all, today, at the Ministerial Conference for the steady implementation of the basic policy on the disposal of ALPS treated water, we compiled guiding principles for strengthening and expanding measures, and revised the action plan according to them.
Based on exchanges of opinions with various parties, this compilation includes commitment to measures such as ensuring thorough safety and visibility (in particular for the purpose of dispelling harmful rumors), fostering understanding of safety and security at the national level, providing support to allow companies to confidently expand business continuity with peace of mind, and constructing a system that will allow local products to be sold even after the water is released. I will lead the government in promoting these efforts so that the whole government can promptly and steadily implement the action plan.

Price Negotiation Promotion Month

Second, a price negotiation promotion month will start on September 1. I would like all subcontractors to take this opportunity to start price negotiations in order to avoid being hurt by surging commodity prices and secure capital for increasing wages.
I would also like to call on all main contractors to communicate this to all of their employees so that price negotiations can be conducted fairly in order to support partner subcontractors and strengthen the entire supply chain.
We have already sent information to about 1,600 industry associations across the country. We have also published a video on Twitter and other media, calling for price negotiations and passing-on cost increases through higher prices. I would like all parties concerned to watch them for reference.
Starting in late September, we will conduct a follow-up survey of 150,000 subcontractors. Based on the results, we will provide guidance and advice to the representatives of main contractors. We hope that this effort will help change the mindset of everyone from the top management down to the front line, and help fair price negotiation and pass-through practices take root.
In addition to the efforts to promote passing-on cost increases through higher prices and fair transactions, we will provide various support measures and improve the environment for wage increases for people placed in a harsh situation so that they can firmly maintain and raise personal incomes even in the midst of surging prices of commodities such as energy and raw materials.
We have also set up a Kakekomidera (rescue) hotline. I would like to encourage anyone to call this number for an urgent consultation of any kind.
I hope that we can further strengthen efforts after taking into account the results of the survey and these consultations.

GX League

Third, starting on September 1, we will begin an additional call for endorsing companies for the GX League Basic Concept, which was announced in February. There are already 440 companies participating, but as we have been receiving many more inquiries, we will begin an additional call.
Next week, we will hold an expert study group meeting on emissions trading in the GX League.
In addition, the Tokyo Stock Exchange will begin a demonstration project in late September to develop the carbon credit market where emissions trading will take place.
Please contact the administrative staff for more information.

G7 Ministerial Meeting

Fourth, at today's Cabinet Meeting, the Chief Cabinet Secretary made an announcement regarding next year's G7 Ministerial Meeting.
In terms of items related to METI, the Trade Ministers' Meeting, Digital and Technology Ministers' Meeting, and Climate, Energy, and Environment Ministers' Meeting will be held.
We will discuss with the other G7 countries global issues such as achieving a free and fair international market environment, building sustainable supply chains, realizing Data Free Flow with Trust—so-called DFFT—and achieving carbon neutrality while securing energy security. We will spare no effort in making preparations with relevant ministries and agencies to make the meetings successful.

G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting

Fifth, from September 1 to 4, I will be visiting Indonesia to attend the G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting.
Concerns and interests regarding energy security have been growing given the situation in Ukraine and other factors. Against this background, it is important for countries to strengthen cooperation in promoting transitions to clean energy while securing a stable supply of energy.
I will communicate Japan’s possible contributions to global carbon neutrality through our decarbonization technology and actively promote Japan's position regarding these issues during opportunities such as bilateral talks with participating countries.
I will also take this opportunity to hold meetings with ministers of economy and other officials of Indonesia to discuss bilateral and ASEAN-wide economic cooperation toward strengthening relations with Indonesia, which will be the ASEAN chair next year.

Question-and-Answer Session

Nuclear Power Plant Policy

Q: I would like to ask about nuclear power plants. At the GX Action Meeting, you were instructed to consider extending operation periods. Where will these discussions take place? Also, possible options would be to simply extend the operation periods from up to 60 years, or substantially extend them by not counting the periods in which they were closed for inspections. What kind of measures do you have in mind?

A: First of all, ensuring the safety of nuclear energy from a scientific standpoint is more important than anything else. Therefore, the highly independent Nuclear Regulation Authority will continue its strict regulation. Our policy will remain unchanged in that regard.
As the minister in charge of the GX, I have raised issues from the viewpoint of promoting decarbonization and securing a stable supply. Regarding discussions from the viewpoint of ensuring safety, the government will respect the decisions of the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Its position will remain intact in that regard. That is the primary prerequisite.
In addition, we are currently considering how—or what—discussions in the government should proceed based on the instructions from the prime minister. We have not decided on a concrete policy at this time. Since we have been instructed to reach conclusions toward the end of the year, we will begin and advance discussions promptly.


Q It has been reported that the Australian government is considering export controls on LNG from the viewpoint of prioritizing Australia's domestic LNG supply. Please tell us how much you know about the details and how METI will respond to this.

A: I am aware that, as you have pointed out, the Australian Government is considering activating the Australian domestic supply mechanisms, also known as ADGSM (Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism), to impose export controls on LNG.
We have held discussions on this system with the Australian government at various levels. I believe that they understand Japan's concerns well. I understand that the Australian government is going to set up opportunities to discuss the relevant matters with businesses and the Japanese government, and consider the pros and cons of such action, and how it should be implemented if that is the decision made.
I will strongly request that there be no impact on exports of LNG to Japan or Japan's imports of LNG.

Last updated:2022-09-09