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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

Financing support related to measures taken by some countries to suspend the imports of fisheries products from Japan

I will explain two points.
First, since starting the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, China and other countries have taken measures to completely suspend the imports of fisheries products from Japan, and in response, some fishery processing and related businesses have raised concerns about their cash flow difficulties. We found similar concerns in a survey that we conducted, and, during my recent visit to Miyagi, I heard such concerns from fishery processing businesses.
In response, we decided to implement No.2 Safety Nets for Financing Guarantee from November 15 to provide a bridge loan program as a financing measure to support affected businesses in cultivating new sales destinations or in bridging their loans until they receive compensation payments from TEPCO. Credit guarantee corporations will provide them with a full guarantee of up to 280 million yen, under a framework that is separate from a general financing guarantee, for their loans from private financial institutions.
We will continue to provide meticulous support to businesses in addition to the existing support, such as consultation services at various contact counters and safety net loans by the Japan Finance Corporation that have been in place since August.

Results of the public call for data center locations

Second, in light of the current situation where data center locations are concentrated in big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, the Government of Japan has decided to decentralize such locations from the viewpoints of preparing for large-scale natural disasters and using renewable energy.
Concerning our public call for the subsidy project for developing large-scale data centers in dispersed locations, METI decided to support SoftBank as a company that will operate a project in Tomakomai City, Hokkaido. The amount of the support will be up to 30 billion yen until FY2026. For details, the administrative staff will provide a separate explanation.

Question-and-Answer Session

Arctic LNG 2

Q: I would like to ask about an energy-related issue. The US government announced additional sanctions against Russia on November 2. The sanctions target the major entity involved in Arctic LNG 2 project, which is an LNG project in the Russian Arctic, and JOGMEC and Mitsui have stakes as Japanese companies. Please comment on this as the Government of Japan, and could you tell us how this will impact Japan’s LNG procurement?

A: Concerning the Arctic LNG 2 project, I understand that the US has announced the sanctions, as you mentioned. The Japanese side made the final decision to invest in this project before Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Also, we recognize this project as an important one for a stable energy supply to Japan as the LNG market is expected to continue to face a tight supply-demand balance for the foreseeable future. The sanctions announced this time target the main operator of the project itself and are different from those issued by the US in September. So, we believe that a certain degree of impact on the project is inevitable. We will closely examine the potential impact, together with the stakeholders.
In cooperation with other G7 countries, we will make a comprehensive judgement and take appropriate measures to ensure that the stable energy supply to Japan will not be jeopardized.

Last updated:2023-11-07