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- Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)
Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)
*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building
Energy Supply and Demand ReportI would like to say one thing at the start.
The Preliminary Report on the FY2021 Energy Supply and Demand Report will be released today.
The following are the main points.
First, final energy consumption increased by 2.0% year-on-year due to the recovery in demand from the pandemic and other factors. Energy-related CO2 emissions also increased by 1.2% year-on-year.
There are still far less emissions than in 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic, and the amount is 20.7% smaller than in 2013, the base year. We are currently on track to meet our goals of reducing emissions by 46% and energy-related emissions by 45% by 2030.
Regarding primary energy supply, nuclear and renewable energy have increased. The share of fossil fuels fell to 83.2%, the lowest level since the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The overall amount of generated electric power increased by 3.2% year-on-year. The increase is due to the recovery from the pandemic. The breakdown of generated electric power shows that thermal power was 72.9%, down by 3.5 percentage points year-on-year, renewable energy was 20.3%, up by 0.5 percentage points, and nuclear energy was 6.9%, up by 3.0 percentage points due to the progress in reactivating some of the nuclear power plants.
Because renewable and nuclear energy increased, the energy self-sufficiency ratio was 13.4%, up by 2.1 percentage points.
Based on these results, we will proceed with discussing policies toward a stable energy supply, the promotion of GX, and carbon neutrality. We will accelerate them toward the end of the year.
The administrative staff will explain the details later. Please contact them for more information.
Q: I have a question regarding energy.
The documents agreed to at COP27 contain a statement pointing out the importance of strengthening a clean energy mix including low-emission energy and renewable energy on all levels. What does METI think low-emission energy specifically refers to?
Also, please tell us how you think COP27 will affect future energy policies.
A: At COP27, the cosignatory countries shared their commitment to the 1.5 degree goal to strive for, and decided to emphasize the urgency and necessity of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions quickly, broadly, and continuously through methods including increasing low-emission and renewable energy, which you mentioned. I understand that they agreed to further accelerate measures against climate change worldwide. Japan and METI are also committed to making firm progress.
Regarding the low-emission energy that you mentioned, there is no clear definition that the participating countries have agreed to. I think each country should decide according to its own circumstances. Japan has the ambitious goal of achieving a 46% reduction by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. We will continue to explore every possibility, including LNG, hydrogen, ammonia, and CCUS in order to address the challenges of emission reduction and a stable energy supply.
Based on the instructions given by Prime Minister Kishida at the GX Action Meeting, discussions will be accelerated on policies to strengthen renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, and other decarbonized energy sources essential for promoting GX.
In any case, an agreement was made to accelerate measures against climate change worldwide, and Japan and METI will strive toward that.
Q: I have a question about the exchange of views with 15 companies in the defense industry which took place last night. Please tell us about METI's aim in gathering many people in one place for an exchange of views at this time.
Also, please tell us how you took the views expressed by those companies.
A: As you said, last night, I exchanged views with people from 15 companies related to the defense industry, including major defense companies, SMEs that provide various parts and materials, companies that manufacture advanced materials used by both the public and the defense sectors, and startups that have new technologies that are necessary for defense needs.
I recognize that a strong defense industry base is essential for strengthening defense capabilities. I am aware that a study group of experts will release a report soon. After that report is submitted, we will formulate the so-called three key national security policy documents covering defense capabilities and national security, and hold detailed discussions on strengthening defense capabilities based on the report toward the end of the year. As the ministry responsible for industry, METI held the recent exchange of views to reflect the voices and needs of the defense industry in those discussions.
For example, many companies stressed the industry's low profitability during the gathering. They also pointed out the uncertainty over future business prospects. Many of them said that these issues derive from the peculiarity of their business environment.
There were also many views on policies on expanding equipment transfers and how the national government should provide support.
They also talked about supporting the utilization of technologies that are beneficial for both the public and the defense sectors. I also asked several questions. For example, we discussed how technologies possessed by companies that are no longer in business can be passed on and maintained, and how new innovative technologies possessed by startups with no past achievements can be utilized. Those technologies are difficult to adopt if the companies have no past track record. The participating companies expressed many views on topics such as these.
I was reminded of the importance of these issues. Considering these situations in the related industries, we will cooperate with other ministries and agencies to thoroughly discuss concrete policies to strengthen the defense industry base.