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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

9:21-9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

G7 Trade Ministers' Meeting 

I would like to say two things to start with.
First, next year's G7 Trade Ministers' Meeting will be held in Osaka Prefecture and Sakai City on Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29. The official name of the meeting will be the G7 Trade Ministers' Meeting in Osaka-Sakai.
In addition, a Trade Ministers' Meeting will be held online on April 4 ahead of the G7 Hiroshima Summit next May and the meeting of October 28 to 29. At these meetings, there will be discussions on the importance of free and open trade and investment, the creation of sustainable supply chains, and the strengthening of solidarity between like-minded countries against unfair measures. I will take the lead. Last weekend, I exchanged views with the governor of Osaka Prefecture and the mayors of Osaka City and Sakai City. We will also work together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the success of the meetings.

Power Supply and Demand in Winter

Secondly, this week marks the start of December. Regarding the power supply and demand for this winter, we have secured the minimum required reserve rate of 3%, but the prospects remain harsh, with 4.1% in the Tohoku and Tokyo areas. We must prepare for a variety of situations. We are implementing supply measures such as restarting idle power plants and procuring additional fuel. As a demand measure, we are again asking that all consumers and households cooperate by using electricity efficiently and conserving energy within reason from December to March by, for example, lowering the room temperature while wearing extra layers of clothes, turning off unused lights, and being careful not to use too much hot water.
In addition, as written here, projects to promote energy conservation programs will begin in December, providing support for power conservation. Households and low-voltage user companies that participate will be granted 2,000 yen worth of points, and high-voltage and special high-voltage user companies will be granted 200,000 yen worth of points. Additional points will be granted for cooperating for certain months and time periods. Please refer to this for details and participate.

Question-and-Answer Session

Nuclear Energy Policy

Q: I have a question about the nuclear energy policy.
The Nuclear Energy Subcommittee presented a draft for a nuclear energy policy action plan yesterday. One of its goals is to ensure the progress of the development and construction of next-generation advanced reactors and replace the nuclear power plants that were planned to be abolished with these reactors. It also mentions a new system for extending operation periods.
Do you intend to report this policy of replacing and extending operations at the GX Action Meeting to be held at the Prime Minister's official residence as it is? Please give us your thoughts.

A: As you pointed out, the Nuclear Energy Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy met yesterday and organized the content of their discussions until now, including issues they were instructed to discuss by the Prime Minister at the GX Action Meeting. We hope to formulate a definite plan based on the various opinions received from the Subcommittee members. However, we have not decided on a specific direction at this time.
We will consider it based on yesterday's discussions. I will refrain from commenting at this time to avoid preempting their deliberations. However, we will make progress with detailed discussions toward reaching specific conclusions by the end of the year.

Q: I have another question related to the action plan. From the viewpoint of consistency with the new announcements, there are voices calling for an earlier revision of the Strategic Energy Plan, even in yesterday's Subcommittee meeting. Please tell us your thoughts, such as what you think of the prospects of this or its necessity.

A: The current Strategic Energy Plan clearly states that nuclear energy will be used in a sustainable manner. It also states that we will maintain domestic competitiveness through a stable and inexpensive energy supply, and explore every option to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 while minimizing the burden on the public. I believe that the content of the action plan also fits within this scope.
Of course, we have plans to regularly review the Strategic Energy Plan in accordance with the law, and we will review it as necessary when it is appropriate.

Last updated:2022-12-06