JAPAN ATOMIC INDUSTRIAL FORUM, INC.

for Japanese

ATOMS in JAPAN

30 July, 2019

Strategic Policy Committee Meets for First Time in Half a Year to Consider Recent Changes in Energy Circumstances

On July 1, Japan’s Strategic Policy Committee, under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, met for the first time in six months to exchange views and opinions on recent trends in energy. The committee is chaired by Sadayuki Sakakibara, who formerly served as president and chairman of Toray Industries, Inc.

Prior to the G20 Summit in Osaka, which ended on June 29, the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth was held on June 15 and 16 in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture.

At the July 1 committee meeting, a representative from the Agency for Natural Resources & Energy (ANRE), under Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), reported that the aforementioned G20 ministerial meeting had come to an agreement on the importance of accelerating the “virtuous cycle” of environmental protection and economic growth via an energy shift.

Recent trends and changes regarding energy security and energy geopolitics were separated into the categories of supply-and-demand structure, geopolitical risks, environmental recognition, technology, and Japan’s stance. Committee members were then asked for their thoughts on each issue.

The ANRE representatives at the meeting cited various examples of recent global issues affecting the supply-and-demand structure and geopolitical risks, including the new status of the United States as a net exporter of energy, and the heightened tensions in the Middle East.

One committee member, President Jitsuro Terashima of the Japan Research Institute, said that while four-fifths of Japan’s oil imports and one-fourth of its LNG imports still came via the Strait of Hormuz, not a single drop of oil headed to the United States was passing through the strait anymore. That, he said, reflected a major difference in the two countries’ approaches. He then emphasized the need for Japan to consider a new energy strategy.

Another member, attending the committee meeting for the first time, was Tatsuji Sugimoto, who had just become governor of Fukui Prefecture in April. Referring to the Fifth Strategic Energy Plan issued last summer, he said that the government was doing nothing toward the realization of its goal of expanding the nuclear share within the national energy mix by FY30 (April 2030 to March 2031) to 20-22 percent, as well as doing nothing toward extending reactor operation beyond four decades.

He added that the issues of spent fuel and the nuclear fuel cycle appeared also to have been “left untouched,” criticizing the government’s attitude toward nuclear policy.

The governor also referred to such subjects as: (1) the promotion of public-understanding activities, (2) the recent decline in the number of nuclear-related subjects being taught at the nation’s universities, (3) the continued long-term suspension of reactor operation nationwide, and (4) trends toward reactor decommissioning.

He also asked the national government to assist in efforts to develop human resources, with an eye on the future, and to expand the economic development of nuclear siting regions.

At the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, mentioned above, participants had discussed matters related to high-level radioactive waste (HLW). Given that the realization of final HLW disposal is an issue shared by all countries utilizing nuclear power, they decided to establish an international roundtable on the subject, the first of which will be held in mid-October in Paris, with cooperation from the OECD/NEA.

Finally, Hiroya Masuda, professor in the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo—and previous chair of the Radioactive Waste Working Group under the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy—said that it would soon be two years since the first issuance of the color-coded “map of scientific features,” which objectively shows the suitability of various as HLW disposal sites.

Stressing the need to begin specific study groups, Masuda also voiced his belief that internationally sharing information at the roundtable could be a key to the solution.

Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map

Video

Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident

10 March, 2021
Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident04:11

Recent News

15 October, 2021
LDP Adds SMR Development and Nuclear Fusion to NPP Restarts in Its Policy Manifesto
7 October, 2021
Kishida Administration Inaugurated, with New METI Minister Hagiuda Holding Press Conference on Taking Office
6 October, 2021
IAEA Holds 65th General Conference in Vienna, with Japanese Minister of State for Science and Technology Delivering Statement in the General Debate
30 September, 2021
JAEC Releases 2020 White Paper on Nuclear Energy
17 September, 2021
NRA Permits Shimane-2 under New Regulatory Standards
14 September, 2021
IAEA Deputy Director General Evrard Visits Japan in Advance of Safety Review of ALPS-treated Water
1 September, 2021
Evaluation Report Issued by IAEA’s Review Mission to Fukushima Daiichi: First Visit since 2018
24 August, 2021
METI and IAEA Agree on Further Review Missions to Fukushima Daiichi
4 August, 2021
JAEA Restarts High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor “HTTR”
2 August, 2021
Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment
28 July, 2021
METI’s Committee Shows Rough Draft of Next Strategic Energy Plan
2 July, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarted After Decade-long Hiatus: First Restart in Japan of a Reactor Operating Beyond 40 Years
28 June, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarts after Decade-long Hiatus
25 June, 2021
New Canada-Japan Partnership Supports Greater Collaboration to Meet Climate Change Objectives and Net-zero Goals
24 June, 2021
METI Issues New Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality
16 June, 2021
ANRE Sticks to “S+3E”
16 June, 2021
Japanese Cabinet Approves Environmental White Paper 2021
16 June, 2021
LDP Parliamentary Association to Reconfirm Position on Utilization of Nuclear Power
16 June, 2021
Fukui Governor Concerned about Deletion of Reference to “Maximum Utilization” of Nuclear Power
14 June, 2021
Working Group on Offshore Release of Treated Water Meets in Miyagi
▲TOP