On February 10, the Cabinet approved a basic policy aimed at implementing a Green Transformation (GX). Given the intensifying global challenge of securing stable energy supplies because of the Ukrainian situation since February 2022, the Japanese government’s Green Transformation (GX) Implementation Council (chaired by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio) and councils at relevant ministries have been deliberating, since last summer, ways to achieve decarbonization, stable energy supplies and economic growth simultaneously.
A related bill will be presented to the current ordinary session of the Diet. At a press conference, also held on February 10, Chief Cabinet Secretary MATSUNO Hirokazu stated that public-private GX investments exceeding JPY150 trillion (approximately USD1.14 trillion) would be made during the coming decade, and said that he expected positive discussions to be held at the Diet toward necessary budgetary measures and establishment of a legal framework.
The basic policy includes the following delineated points toward securing stable supplies of energy:
- Promoting thorough conservation of energy
- Making renewable energies the main power source
- Using nuclear energy
Over 3,000 opinions were received when the policy was opened for public comments for a month starting at the end of last year. As a result, a revision to the wording for nuclear energy—“use of nuclear energy based on the Strategic Energy Plan”—was made to the initial draft. Regarding replacements with next-generation advanced reactors, the phrase “within its premises” was added in reference to sites where decommissioning has been decided.
A series of bills related to nuclear policy is likely to be presented to the Diet at the end of February.
On the same day, February 10, a ministerial meeting was held on final disposal. Draft revisions were presented to the basic policy on final disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLW), which will be made open for public comments. The revisions included expansion of areas for literature surveys, which are now being carried out only in Suttsu Town and Kamoenai Village, both in Hokkaido.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said, “Being fully aware that the lack of a decision about a final disposal site is one of the major concerns the public has about nuclear power, the government will responsibly make concerted efforts on the final disposal issue.” He reiterated the government’s awareness of the nuclear backend and stressed its determination to substantiate such efforts.