*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Friday, November 4, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building
Semiconductor Export Control
Q: There are reports that the US government is forcing Japan and other allies to introduce regulations similar to its own on the export of advanced semiconductors to China. Please tell us the facts on this. Also, please tell us your thoughts on what measures Japan intends to take regarding semiconductor exports to China based on trends in regulations in the US and other countries.
A: Japan has been conducting strict export control in cooperation with the international community in accordance with the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act. We are taking measures under this policy while communicating with the US and considering trends in their regulations, as well as those of other countries, and we will continue to take appropriate measures in the future.
We are closely exchanging views on export control and communicating with relevant countries, including the US, in various forums including international export control frameworks, regimes, and bilateral relationships. Because they are diplomatic exchanges, I will refrain from providing details.
Nuclear Power Plant Policy
Q: I would like to ask about regulations on nuclear power. Two days ago, the Nuclear Regulation Authority decided that after being in operation for 30 years, each power plant should be inspected at least once every ten years and can be allowed to extend its operation. Please tell us your views on this and what METI can do to support power companies facing such inspections.
A: The Nuclear Regulation Authority is considering designs for a system to maintain strict safety regulations. Regarding the decision on operation periods, former chairman Fuketa and current chairman Yamanaka have stated and replied that the decision was to be made by policy makers on the side of nuclear power use, and that the Regulation Authority was not in a position to express its views on operation periods. I am aware that the authority, having confirmed this traditional policy, are discussing how to confirm the safety of aging reactors and guarantee it legally.
I will refrain from commenting on the specifics of the safety discussions within the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
In the meantime, METI referred the issue of operation periods to the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy under ANRE from the viewpoint of utilization policy, and the committee is advancing discussions. The issue will be further deliberated with a view to reaching a conclusion by the end of the year.
In any case, it is necessary for business operators to continue working on upgrading maintenance and management to address aging reactors. METI will provide firm guidance so that related business operators can cooperate with each other and implement these efforts effectively.
Q: I would like to ask about COP27, which will begin next week. One of the themes will be assistance to developing countries. Please tell us what themes Japan places importance on, or if there are any goals that you want to achieve.
In addition, it is said that the circumstances surrounding decarbonization is deteriorating due to the crisis in Ukraine. Please tell us your thoughts.
A: COP27 will be held in Egypt from November 6 to 18. As you pointed out, the world's energy situation has changed drastically because of the aggression against Ukraine. However, the importance of efforts against climate change remains unchanged. I hope that this will be an important opportunity to accelerate global efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement while ensuring a stable energy supply.
In order to steadily implement steps to achieve emissions reductions throughout the world, METI will work to achieve the goal of reducing emissions by 2030 and engage in negotiations toward adopting work plans that have systems to steadily advance emissions reductions with emerging countries including countries such as China and India that are emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases.
Also, to answer your question, I will take this opportunity to meet people who are coming from around the world to address the issue of climate change, and communicate throughout the world that Japan is contributing to global GX (green transformation) by firmly spreading information on its clean technologies and products.