1. Home
  2. Press Conferences and Statements
  3. Press Conferences
  4. Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

10:06-10:20 a.m.
Friday, November 17, 2023
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building


Opening Remarks

Results of IPEF-related meetings and the TEZUKA 2023 Project

At the beginning, I would like to go over two points.
First, from November 12 to today, I visited San Francisco, the United States, to attend the APEC Ministerial Meeting and the IPEF Ministerial Meeting.
As for the IPEF Ministerial Meeting, the participating countries reported the results of the discussions to their leaders. As a result, before the leaders’ meeting, substantial conclusions were reached with regard to the areas of clean economy and fair economy.
I myself reported to Prime Minister Kishida and obtained his understanding.
In particular, the clean economy agreement is very meaningful for Japan, which pursues diverse paths toward net zero emissions and aims to realize a fair and sustainable transition in a manner compatible with economic growth.
The second point is generative AI. I understand that generative AI is very important technology that will significantly change our economy, society and work styles, and influence the future growth of the Japanese economy.
Since FY2020, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been implementing a technology development project on next-generation AI systems that evolve with humans, as a NEDO program. Until now, we have earmarked 11.4 billion yen for this project and implemented activities using the data obtained in the real world to support research and development on AI systems that support people’s lives and businesses.
As part of this program, since June this year, Tezuka Production and others have been implementing the TEZUKA 2023 project to produce a new episode of Tezuka Osamu’s Black Jack manga comic series using generative AI. On November 22, the result will be published in the Weekly Shonen Champion magazine.
In creating the new episode, generative AI was used in the processes of developing draft scenarios and character designs. In addition, a tool for giving accurate instructions to generative AI was developed. In the flow of the production processes, AI improves work efficiency by complementing the creativity of human creators—in short, humans and AI have achieved co-existence.
In my youth, I read nearly all the Black Jack stories. It has been 34 years since the death of Tezuka Osamu and 50 years since the start of the Black Jack series. When I read the new story, I felt that the Black Jack personality with which I was familiar when I was young had been resurrected for this new age by AI and by people who have inherited Tezuka Osamu’s spirit.
For details, please read the new story. By continuing to promote the appropriate use of AI in various industrial sectors, we hope to achieve work efficiency improvement and productivity increases, thereby ensuring economic growth.

Question-and-Answer Session

Suspension of imports of Japanese fishery products by China, etc.

Q: It was reported that at the committee established under the WTO’s SPS Agreement, Japan requested the immediate withdrawal of the measures taken by China and Russia to suspend Japanese fishery products in response to the discharge of treated water. Please clarify the facts with your comment. Also please tell us how you intend to deal with this matter in the future, including whether you will file a complaint. 

A: At a meeting of the SPS Committee held on November 15, Japan explained the safety of the discharge of ALPS treated water and stated that it can in no way accept the measures with no grounds in scientific evidence taken by China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Russia to suspend Japanese fishery products, and strongly urged once again these countries and regions to immediately repeal the measures.
I have been informed that the countries involved explained their own positions. However, Japan made a counterargument against what those countries had to say and urged the immediate repeal of the measures once again.
At every opportunity, Japan will urge the immediate repeal of the measures. On the margins of the APEC Ministerial Meeting held this week, I had one-on-one meetings with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau and urged each of them to immediately repeal the measures. We will continue to appropriately address this matter.
I would like to refrain from commenting on future actions with prejudice, but Japan intends to continue to urge the immediate repeal of the measures through various occasions as they arise. To that end, we will constantly consider various options from the viewpoint of what will be the most effective action under the frameworks of the WTO and other agreements while watching those countries’ moves.

Last updated:2023-11-17