(Provisional Translation)

First session of the Assembly of IRENA, 4-5 April 2011
(The International Renewable Energy Agency)

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ikuo YAMAHANA


(HE) UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nayahan,
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, President of the first Assembly of the IRENA,
Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, Interim Director General of the IRENA
(Honourable Ministers)
Distinguished delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen

First of all, on behalf of the government of Japan, it gives me a great honour to attend this memorable first Assembly of the IRENA.

At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to Minister Abdullah and Dr Sultan and the Government of the United Arab Emirates for your kindness to prepare and host this session. I would also like to congratulate Mr. Amin on taking up the position of Director General of IRENA and wish you the best of luck.

On the 11th March, Japan was struck by the gigantic earthquake of 9.0-magnitude and devastating Tsunami.
Governments and peoples from all over the world have conveyed their warm sympathy, condolences and encouragement to the people in Japan hit by this unprecedented crisis. On behalf of the Japanese Government and the people, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for this. The Japanese people are heartened by the kind support given by many countries and the interim secretariat.
I also thank you very much for the one minute silence this morning.

The Japanese government considers that it is indispensable to further promote and disseminate the use of renewable energy, in order to efficiently work on the climate change remedies, while maintaining the energy security at the same time. It is fair to say that the importance of renewable energy will never be diminished but only increase in the future. Based on this view point, Japan will continue to participate in activities of the IRENA proactively.

Japan has been actively involved in many Working Groups to establish the IRENA and sent secondees with valuable skills to the IRENA Secretariat.

In February 2011 we invited Mr Amin, Interim Director General of the IRENA, to Japan and hosted a Renewable Energy Workshop which featured the IRENA. In this Workshop, the industry, in particular, pointed out that while international standardization of the renewable energy technology has been in progress, policies are different from country to country, which makes it difficult to promote renewable energy in many countries. In order to improve the situation, many expressed high expectations for the IRENA's function to provide relevant policy advice and assistance.

Japan will continue to disseminate information about the IRENA's role, not only in the member states but also in non-members. Through picking up expectations and requests to the IRENA, we will continue to contribute to strengthen the IRENA's activities.

Now that the IRENA starts as a full-fledged international organization, I would like to take this opportunity to say what Japan would like the IRENA to be.

Firstly, the IRENA's operation. The IRENA should be a centre of excellence of renewable energy, not a development assistance agency. With this regards, the secretariat should be a simple and efficient body on the basis of strict budget discipline.

International organizations tend to get bloated. The IRENA should make efforts to remain lean and efficient.

Secondly, relations to other international organizations. It is important for the IRENA, as a pivotal international organization of renewable energy, to cooperate with other international organizations, for instance by building up a collaborative network with them in order to avoid duplication and enhance synergy. For instance, there are international organizations such as the International Energy Agency in the Energy Sector, the United Nations Environment Programme in the Environment field, the World Bank as supporting organization, and REN21 among non profit organizations. The IRENA needs to work with these organizations in close partnership.

Thirdly, outreach. In order to become a more universal organization, the IRENA needs to proactively work on outreach activities. The Asian Region in particular, has seen significant economic growth, while many countries, like Japan, highly depends on imported energy sources.
Improvement and dissemination of renewable energy in regions such as Asia will lead to improve self-sufficiency of energy in these countries, which contribute to secure energy supply and to combat with climate change.

Mr Chairman,

Lastly, in order to make renewable energy an answer to the global energy security and climate change issues, and also to make it bring prosperity and development to the world, we have to share our wisdom to make the IRENA a useful organization to improve and disseminate the use of renewable energy. I believe this is the mission given to us.

Thank you so much for your attention.

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