Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio, who serves as chair of the council, started out by describing the resumption of discussions as “the start of consideration of GX 2.0.” The government, he said, would show a realistic route to decarbonization to share between the public and private sectors to proceed step by step through the most difficult challenges posed by the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

He then expressed again his intention to revise the Strategic Energy Plan as well as the plan for measures to combat climate change, which are the basis for the practical route, as early as the end of the current fiscal year (i.e., by March 31, 2025).

The GX Implementation Council started its activities in July 2022 in pursuit of carbon neutrality by 2050 and fundamental reform of energy, all industries, and economic society.

In August, in light of domestic and global energy circumstances, including disturbances of oil and gas markets as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and delays to energy policy in the extended wake of the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi, the council declared the aim of reestablishing stable supplies of energy in Japan, for which the acceleration of the restart of nuclear power plants (NPPs) was included as an urgent measure.

At a meeting on May 13, Minister SAITO Ken of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MEXT), which is responsible for GX implementation, outlined GX-related discussions up to now involving simultaneously ensuring stable supplies of energy, economic growth and decarbonization.

Budgetary measures and creation of a legal framework were progressing, he said, including public-private GX investments exceeding JPY150 trillion (approximately USD1 trillion) over a decade, and passage of the GX Decarbonization Power Supply Bill in the summer of 2023, including extensions to operating lifetimes of NPPs.

“Industrial structure, industrial siting and energy,” METI Minister Saito said, “will be addressed comprehensively, and a GX 2040 Vision will be presented that takes a longer perspective.” Specifically, a GX 2040 leaders panel (tentative name) will be formed to hear views from experts and specialists.