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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

9:23-9:36 a.m.
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Question-and-Answer Session

Semiconductor Export Control Against China

Q: My question is about semiconductors.
US Secretary of Commerce Raimondo said in an interview with the US media on the 3rd of this month that Japan would join them in regulations on the export of advanced semiconductors to China. Please tell us your thoughts on this and how the Japanese government will address this.

A: Japan has been conducting strict export control in cooperation with the international community in accordance with the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act. Based on this policy, we will continue to take appropriate measures while considering trends in regulations in the US and other countries.
Regarding export control, we are communicating with the related countries, including the United States, and in various forms including international export control regimes and bilateral relationships. I will refrain from giving details because they are diplomatic exchanges, but we are communicating in various ways.

United States Inflation Reduction Act

Q: On the 4th, the Japanese government sent a written opinion to the US Department of the Treasury requesting them to include Japanese manufacturers in the measures supporting the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and implement them in a transparent manner. What kind of consultations will the Japanese government hold with the US in the future, and what changes will it request? Also, if it is unlikely that there will be any changes, will the government consider bringing the case to the WTO?

A: Regarding the electric vehicle tax reduction system under the Inflation Reduction Act that you mentioned, I have been communicating and expressing Japan's concerns through every opportunity and route, including the IPEF ministerial meeting held in Los Angeles, where I had a meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Raimondo and US Trade Representative Tai.
This tax reduction system is not consistent with the overall strategy for making supply chains more resilient, which is being carried out in cooperation between Japan and the US, and countries providing funds. The IPEF is part of such discussions. I expressed my concern about the inconsistency. Regarding the public comment, a written opinion was sent expressing a similar concern.
We will continue consulting with the US at every opportunity.

Q: What about bringing the case to the WTO?

A: We will have various discussions, so I will refrain from commenting about that at this stage, but we will communicate closely and continue discussing this issue.

Nuclear Energy Policy

Q: This is about the GX Conference's nuclear energy policy. First, regarding the extension of the operation periods, although it is for the sake of carbon neutrality and a stable power supply, I think it is rather inappropriate for the GX Conference or METI to talk about the operation periods that are stipulated in laws and regulations on nuclear reactors. I would like to ask for your views on the importance of separation between utilization and regulation.

A: We have never said anything about what form safety regulations should take. The Nuclear Regulation Authority is said to have the strictest safety standards in the world, and I understand that the Authority is studying safety issues carefully. We are currently discussing various policies from the viewpoint of utilization in the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy under ANRE.

Q: The next question is about building new plants. the EU is trying to include nuclear power in the EU Taxonomy, a draft rule for promoting green investment, and it has conditions on dealing with high level radioactive waste and securing funding. If Japan approves the building of new nuclear power plants as part of its utilization policy, there should be conditions on dealing with high level radioactive waste and securing funding. Please tell us your thoughts.

A: We are currently holding discussions on the future of nuclear power generation from the viewpoint of utilization policy based on the instructions given by Prime Minister Kishida. We have yet to decide on a specific direction. The Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy will continue to hold meetings in a completely open format while receiving opinions from the citizens and experts so that they can fully understand what is happening. We will continue discussing the matter thoroughly in order to finalize our conclusions by the end of the year.

Last updated:2022-11-16