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Press Conference by Minister Saito (Excerpt)

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

11:09-11:24 a.m.
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building


Opening Remarks

Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai

At the beginning, I would like to mention two points.
First, today, Minister Jimi announced an overview of the expo budget. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has also been cooperating in this. Later, the administrative staff will give you a briefing on the details.
We will newly establish an experts’ committee including outside professionals, in order to use their knowledge to continuously check the appropriateness of expenditures related to the projects which were entrusted to the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition and for which subsidies were provided to the Association by METI from the national treasury under the expo budget.
In addition, although no funds are provided from the national treasury, we will also check the appropriateness of the Association’s operational expenditures under the same framework, as METI is in a position to supervise it as a designated incorporated association. Regarding this matter as well, the administrative staff will later give you a briefing on the details.
In order to obtain the people’s understanding with respect to Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, I believe that it is important to make it an attractive event and also provide explanations about expo-related budgets with the highest possible level of transparency. We will ensure thorough budget and cost management.

50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation

Second, from December 13, the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and its related events were held. Although this was just after I took office, I had meetings with the leaders and ministers of various countries, and I gained a sense of the ASEAN countries’ strong expectations toward Japan. Through the series of events, it was announced that around 70 MOUs had been concluded. In addition, as cooperation is ongoing in around 350 projects, a joint statement calling for decarbonization was adopted at the AZEC summit yesterday. We would like to accelerate cooperation in the energy field based on the joint statement.
Moreover, significant results were achieved in various areas at the Commemorative Japan-ASEAN Summit. We launched the ASEAN-Japan Co-Creation Initiative for the Next Generation Automotive Industry. At a bilateral level as well, we agreed to conduct a study on the launch of a Japan-Thailand Energy and Industry Dialogue for discussions on the production and export competitiveness of the automobile and other manufacturing industries.
We would like to further strengthen cooperative relationships with ASEAN countries and promote the prosperity of Japan and ASEAN based on the concept of future co-creation.

Last updated:2023-12-19