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Press Conference by Minister Saito (Excerpt)

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

9:44 to 9:58 a.m.
Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

Bill to partially amend the Act on Sea Area Utilization for Renewable Energy

At the beginning, I would like to mention one point.
Today, a cabinet decision was made on the bill to partially amend the Act on Sea Area Utilization for Renewable Energy. To realize carbon neutrality by 2050, introducing renewable energy to the maximum possible extent is indispensable, and offshore wind power generation is the key to that. The government aims to develop projects with a total capacity of 10 GW by 2030 and 30 to 45 GW by 2040. To that end, it is necessary to introduce offshore wind power generation not only in Japan’s territorial seas but also in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) while obtaining relevant stakeholders’ understanding, and this bill provides for the procedures for that.
Developing large-scale sea area projects in a stable manner through this law will help nurture and strengthen the offshore power industry. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will make efforts to enhance the industry’s international competitiveness by implementing measures to support the development of technology and the building of a supply chain. As for detailed information, the administrative staff, together with those from relevant ministries and agencies, will provide a briefing later.

Question-and-Answer Session

Bill to partially amend the Act on Sea Area Utilization for Renewable Energy

Q: Regarding today’s cabinet decision on the bill to partially amend the Act on Sea Area Utilization for Renewable Energy, which is intended to expand the areas for offshore wind power generation to Japan’s EEZ, please tell me about your reaction to the amendment at a time when the government is promoting the further introduction of renewable energy. Also tell me about what you have in mind now about METI’s policy and support measures.

A: First, naturally, I expect that this bill will enhance relevant domestic industries’ competitiveness by accelerating the introduction of offshore wind power through the expansion of areas that are suitable for offshore wind power generation.
As I have the experience of serving as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, I naturally believe that considering co-existence and co-prosperity with existing users of sea areas, such as fishermen, is important when selecting specific sea areas and granting permission to business operators. Therefore, we would like to proceed while obtaining understanding from relevant stakeholders. As I mentioned at the beginning, there are targets for the introduction of renewable energy, including offshore wind power.
I would like to repeat that we will make utmost efforts in the field of offshore wind power toward achieving the target of increasing the share of renewable energy in the power source mix to between 36% and 38% by FY2030.

Last updated:2024-03-12