*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
In front of the Cabinet Room, 2nd floor,
National Diet Building
The Bill on Power Sources for Green Transformation and Decarbonization
I would like to start by talking about two topics.
First, a Cabinet decision was made today on the so-called Bill on Power Sources for Green Transformation and Decarbonization, officially known as the Bill for Partially Amending the Electricity Business Act and Other Acts to Establish an Electricity Supply System toward Achieving a Decarbonized Society. This bill is based on the Basic Policy for the Realization of GX, on which a Cabinet decision was made on February 10. It will give support for the maximum utilization of renewable energy in harmony with local communities, and create measures to utilize nuclear power on the overriding premise of ensuring safety, toward achieving GX and securing a stable supply of electricity.
We will properly explain the details of the bill to the citizens through discussions in the Diet and various other opportunities, based on the recent instructions given by Prime Minister Kishida. The administrative staff will explain the details later.
Price Negotiation Promotion Month
Second, the Price Negotiation Promotion Month will start tomorrow, on March 1. Price negotiations and price pass-through negotiations are entering a critical phase. I would like subcontractors to take the opportunity of this promotion month to request price negotiations, and also for prime contractors to proactively engage in price negotiations with sub-contracting business partners while communicating this campaign within their organizations in order to respond to price pass-through requests from subcontractors.
We will conduct a follow-up survey during this March campaign. To date, we have provided guidance and advice to the top management of 70 prime contractors that have shown reluctance in price and pass-through negotiations.
For the first time, we prepared a list describing the status of price and pass-through negotiations of 150 companies placing orders to sub-contractors, and we will prepare a similar list this time around.
These measures will help subcontractors create an environment for wage increases.
For the next follow-up survey, we will send questionnaires to 300,000 SMEs, twice as many as before. I would appreciate a positive response to the questionnaire from all those SMEs.
Q: Rapidus Corporation is apparently going to announce the construction of a new plant in Hokkaido. Is the government aware of this? Also, there is talk that METI is preparing to provide new subsidies in the order of 300 billion yen. Please tell us the facts.
A: Rapidus received a request from the Hokkaido Government and the Governor of Hokkaido to establish a manufacturing base for next-generation semiconductors. I heard the chip maker will visit the Hokkaido Government today to report on their study results.
I will refrain from commenting on the manufacturing base, as Rapidus will decide on its own. Rapidus needs a large area of land suitable for constructing a plant with potential for future expansion. They also consider access to power, water, and human resources. I understand that they are making considerations from those viewpoints.
It is a symbolic project representing cooperation between Japan and the US, and I welcome progress in discussions and considerations on it.
The government will consider giving the support necessary while monitoring the project's overall progress as they try to establish a next-generation semiconductor manufacturing base in the latter half of the 2020s.