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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

9:31-9:44 a.m.
Friday, October 7, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai

I would like to say a few things.
At today's ministerial meeting, Mr. Okada Naoki, Minister for the World Expo 2025, asked ministries to cooperate with attaching special license plates for the event to official vehicles in order to build momentum for the expo. This is the plate.
Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai is a national project. The government is working as a whole to build momentum, which was also strongly requested by the business community in Kansai when I recently exchanged views with them.
I myself decided to attach this special license plate as soon as it was issued on October 24. I have also instructed that it be attached to all other official vehicles as soon as it is available toward the end of this year. In addition, we will publicize the information and notify related organizations in our jurisdiction from now on
We will continue to use various opportunities such as events and media coverage, as well as various social media, to accelerate momentum for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai throughout Japan.

Business Trip to Gunma

One more thing. Tomorrow, I will go on a business trip to Gunma Prefecture. As we are planning to hold the G7 Digital Ministers' Meeting in Gunma, I would like to work together with Minister Kono and Minister Terada so that Japan produces results as the chair of the G7. Gunma Prefecture led by Governor Yamamoto Ichita is working very hard on digitalization, and I plan to visit the venue to observe the situation.

Question-and-Answer Session

Extension of Nuclear Power Plant Operations

Q: There are two questions from the lead company.
The first question is about the extension of the nuclear power plants' operation periods.
The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) announced at the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA)'s meeting on the 5th of this month its policy to consider extending operation periods and taking necessary legal measures. Please tell us your views on this issue, the specific schedules, and policies for discussions.

A: Regarding the question on the extension of operation periods, at the request of the NRA, an official of ANRE explained on October 5 how nuclear power plants' ideal operation periods are being discussed from the viewpoint of utilization policies.
A council under ANRE has begun and is progressing discussions on the situation surrounding operation periods and necessary changes to the system. No specific policy has been decided on at this time. We will continue to discuss more deeply from the viewpoint of utilization policies based on the instructions from the prime minister while taking into account expert opinions so that we can reach specific conclusions at the end of the year.

Oil Policy

Q: I have one more question.
OPEC Plus recently agreed to reduce production of crude oil by 2 million barrels per day. Please tell us your thoughts on this production reduction, which is the largest since 2020. Also, please tell us what impact it will have on the gasoline subsidy policy for next year.

A: As you mentioned, an agreement was made at the OPEC Plus Ministerial Meeting held the day before yesterday to significantly reduce crude oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November. There are concerns that it may lead to tighter supply and demand, greater uncertainty, and higher crude oil prices.
We will continue to cautiously monitor trends in the international energy market and their effects on the Japanese economy, and make efforts to call on oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cooperate toward stabilizing the international crude oil market by increasing production and investing in production capacity—as I have already done on various occasions—while strengthening cooperation with the IEA and major consumer countries.
In addition, no policy has been decided on at this time regarding the measures to mitigate sudden fluctuations in oil prices for next year. We will continue discussions on future policies while closely observing how the recent agreement on production cuts affects future trends in crude oil prices ,which are starting to increase slightly. We will also take into account the aim of this temporary emergency operation, and see how measures against surging commodity prices—such as special grants for regional revitalization—are being implemented.

Last updated:2022-10-24