Diplomatic Bluebook 2019

Chapter 3

Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Global Interests

4 Promoting Resource Diplomacy along with Foreign Direct Investment in Japan

(1) Securing a Stable Supply of Energy and Mineral Resources at Reasonable Prices

A Current Situation of Energy and Mineral Resources in Japan and Abroad
(A) Situation in the World

In recent years there have been three structural changes in the international energy market: (1) demand (consumption), (2) supply (production), and (3) resource selection. Regarding (1) demand, the proportion of OECD member countries in the world's primary energy demand has decreased and the weight of world energy consumption has shifted to non-OECD member countries such as China and India. Regarding (2) supply, the U.S. became the world's largest producer of both oil and natural gas due to the “Shale Revolution,” and lifted its ban on crude oil exports in December 2015. The U.S. made energy a key issue, and is promoting energy export policies such as by announcing the promotion of further exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG). Production of shale oil and gas is expected to remain high due to productivity improvements and cost reductions through technical innovation. Regarding (3) resource selection, based on the fact that energy production and use account for about two-thirds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the move toward transition to cleaner energy sources, such as renewable energy, is accelerating. Additionally, since the Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted in December 2015, efforts by companies on low carbonization and decarbonization have been further advancing.

Crude oil prices started to fall since the second half of 2014 mainly because of the economic slowdown in China and other economies, increased production of non-OPEC member countries such as shale oil production in the U.S., and oversupply due to robust production in OPEC member countries. Prices remained low and temporarily broke 30 US dollars/barrel in 2016. Following the continuation of low oil prices due to oversupply, OPEC member countries and other major non-OPEC member oil producers such as Russia agreed to a coordinated reduction in crude oil output at the end of 2016 at the OPEC Meeting, and oil prices rose in the second half of 2016 and in 2017, remaining around 50 US dollars/barrel. After that, despite the increase in crude oil production volume in the U.S., oil prices have gradually risen and have been hovering around 70 US dollars/barrel since September 2018 because impacts of the worsening production decline in Venezuela and concerns about the decline in crude oil exports due to U.S. sanctions against Iran (started November 2018) on the supply-demand balance have been considered, and geopolitical tensions such as in the Middle East due to trade frictions have escalated. At the same time, however, there is also a downward trend as demand is expected to decline due to the possibility of an economic slowdown from U.S.-China trade frictions, etc., and it is important to continue to pay attention to the impact of these oil price fluctuations on future energy security.

Crude oil prices trends (December 2007 - November 2018)
(B) Situation in Japan

In Japan, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the percentage of fossil fuels increased and reached about 90% of power generation in 2012 from about 65% before the earthquake (about 80% in 2017), due to the shutdown of nuclear power plants. In particular, the share of LNG is increasing, and although the deployment of renewable energy and the restart of nuclear power plants are gradually progressing, the percentage of LNG power generation has reached about 40%. At the same time, Japan's primary energy self-sufficiency ratio (including nuclear power), which relies on imports from overseas for almost all of its oil, natural gas, coal, etc., dropped sharply from 20% before the earthquake to 6.4% in 2014. It remains at a low level despite picking up to 8.3% in FY2016. In addition, nearly 90% of crude oil and more than 20% of natural gas imported by Japan come from the Middle East (both in 2018). Under these circumstances, efforts to secure a stable supply of energy at reasonable prices are becoming increasingly important.

Energy self-sufficiency rate in major countries

Against this background, in July 2018, the Cabinet decided on the “5th Strategic Energy Plan,” aiming to contribute to the sustainable development of the world as well as further development of the Japanese economic society and improvements in people's lives through a long-term, stable, sustainable, and self-reliant energy supply. Under the principle of 3E+S (“Energy Security,” “Economic Efficiency,” “Environment,” and “Safety”), and in order to realize a stable, low-burden, and environmentally compatible energy supply and demand structure, this new Plan includes efforts aimed at utilizing renewable energy as the major power source and at promoting energy system reform. It aims the steady realization of the energy mix in order to reduce greenhouse gases by 26% in FY2030 (compared to FY2013).

B Diplomatic Efforts to Secure a Stable Supply of Energy and Mineral Resources at Reasonable Prices

Securing a stable supply of energy and mineral resources at reasonable prices forms the foundation for the vital economy of Japan and the livelihoods of its people. Japan has been strengthening diplomatic efforts, focusing on the following activities.

(A) Gathering and Analysis of Resource-Related Information at the Diplomatic Missions Overseas

With a view to strengthening the function of the diplomatic missions overseas, as of December 2018, “Special Assistants for Natural Resources” have been appointed to 60 diplomatic missions overseas in a total of 53 countries to work intensively on the acquisition and stable supply of energy and mineral resources. Furthermore, MOFA holds “Strategy Meetings on Natural Resources” every year, which bring together officials who are assigned to the diplomatic missions overseas in countries that are important in terms of ensuring a stable supply of energy and mineral resources. In 2018, the Meeting was held in Tokyo in February, and was also attended by representatives of the relevant ministries and private-sector agencies. Active discussions were held on the international situation surrounding energy and mineral resources, as well as on the direction of Japan's strategies corresponding to the international situation.

(B) Securing Transportation Route Safety

There have been threats posed by piracy along the sea lane stretching from the Middle East to Japan, through which approximately 90% of the total oil imports to Japan passes, and along other internationally important sea lanes such as those off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. With this in mind, Japan has supported the coastal countries through such measures as enhancing counter-piracy capacities, cooperating on information sharing among countries concerned, and developing navigation facilities. Japan has also been dispatching units of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Japanese Coast Guard officers to the areas off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden to be engaged in escort operations for any country's commercial ships.

(C) Making Use of International Fora and Rules

Japan makes active use of international fora and rules to cooperate with the international community toward securing a stable supply of energy. Japan endeavors to strengthen its capability to respond to emergencies such as disruptions in oil supply, while striving to quickly and accurately grasp information, such as trends in the global energy markets and resource-producing countries, and revisions to the medium- and long-term outlooks for supply and demand.

In September 2018, the G7 Energy Ministers' Meeting was held in Halifax (Canada) under the theme of “Building the Energy Systems of Tomorrow (BEST),” with discussions aimed at strengthening energy security, ensuring sustainable economic growth with the energy system, and realizing the future of low-carbon energy. The Chair's summary was issued by Canada as the G7 Presidency in 2018.

At the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting held in San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina) in June, Ministers addressed issues such as renewable energy, energy security and energy access under the theme of energy transitions considering national circumstances, based on changes in the global energy situation. The G20 Energy Ministers Communiqué was issued as the Meeting's outcome document.

At APEC, the meetings of the APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) have been convened as a framework to promote energy trade and investment while strengthening energy security, so as to contribute to the sustainable economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region. In 2018, the 55th EWG meeting was held in Hong Kong in May, and the 56th EWG meeting was held in Peru in November. Japan participated actively in both meetings.

As for ASEAN-related matters, the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, Republic of Korea) Ministers on Energy Meeting and the East Asia Summit (EAS) Energy Ministers Meeting were held in Singapore in October. At the 2018 meeting, a common understanding to build an LNG market in Asia and a new approach for realizing a hydrogen society and decarbonizing the transport sector were proposed.

C Major Efforts for Energy and Resource Diplomacy in 2018
(A) Consideration and Launch of New Energy and Resource Foreign Policy

At the Eighth Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly held in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in January 2018, Foreign Minister Kono was the first Minister for Foreign Affairs from Japan to attend the IRENA Assembly, and he gave a policy speech entitled “Renewable Energy Diplomacy of Japan - Climate Change and Future Energy.” In this speech, Foreign Minister Kono stated that Japan will contribute to the world through technology and innovation as the era of renewable energy comes and that Japan will support countries in a vulnerable position. He also mentioned the international dissemination of “The Fukushima Plan for a New Energy Society.” On that basis, he appreciated IRENA, which has contributed to the issue of climate change and promoted renewable energy, and indicated that Japan will continue to support IRENA's activities.

Foreign Minister Kono giving a speech at the Eighth Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly (January 14, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)Foreign Minister Kono giving a speech at the Eighth Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly (January 14, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Furthermore, in July, Foreign Minister Kono made the policy speech entitled “Evolving Energy Diplomacy - Energy Transition and the Future of Japan” on the occasion of MOFA's International Symposium “Energy Transition and Energy Security in Asia.” (Represented by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Okamoto). In the speech, he expressed the intention to promote energy diplomacy in response to the global energy situation and energy transition while international efforts toward decarbonization are in full swing as the Paris Agreement comes into force and the major changes in both supply and demand are in progress.

(B) Holding Strategy Meeting on Natural Resources

For three days in 2018 from February 19 to February 21, the “Strategy Meeting on Natural Resources” was held at MOFA, bringing together 17 officials including Special Assistants for Natural Resources posted to diplomatic missions in 17 countries which involve a stable supply of energy and mineral resources for Japan. In addition to MOFA Headquarters officials including State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakane and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Okamoto, the aforementioned 17 foreign mission officials and officials from relevant Ministries participated along with people from various organizations and private business as well as experts, deepening debate on issues and measures for promoting a stable supply of resources in Japan and energy and resource diplomacy.

At the meeting, bearing in mind the policy speech given by Foreign Minister Kono at the Eighth IRENA Assembly in January 2018, the “Report on the 2018 Strategy Meetings on Natural Resources” was compiled, laying out six concrete and specific efforts by Japan: (1) reaffirm that securing the stable supply of energy and resources to Japan is the first proposition, (2) show the world Japan's willingness to contribute to global energy security as a whole, (3) conduct energy diplomacy that transforms Japan's technology into competitiveness of Japanese companies in the global market, (4) realize organized linkage between renewable energy diplomacy and climate change diplomacy, (5) position “energy and resource diplomacy” as the vertical axis of diplomatic strategies, and (6) strengthen multi-layered cooperation with international organizations including contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

(C) Conducting a Fukushima Study Tour for the Diplomatic Mission in Tokyo

On November 1, 2018, MOFA organized a Study Tour to Fukushima Prefecture for the Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo in cooperation with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Fukushima Prefecture, Fukushima City, Koriyama City, and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. This Study Tour comprised site visits to the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA), a geothermal plant in Tsuchiyu Onsen in Fukushima City and other facilities.

A total of 10 personnel from embassies in 10 countries participated in this study tour, and the participating diplomats visited advanced research facilities on hydrogen, solar power, wind power, geothermal power and geothermal heat utilization at FREA, deepening their understanding of Japan's most advanced technologies and research and development. Afterwards, participants took part in a seminar on geothermal power generation held at the FREA site to deepen their understanding of Japan's efforts in this field.

(2) Ensuring Food Security

According to reports by the UN Population Division, global population in 2017 is estimated to be about 7.6 billion. However, the global population is expected to increase mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in the future, and to reach about 9.8 billion by 2050. Furthermore, as an increase in consumption of livestock will trigger a big surge in demand for grains, demand for feed for livestock will also increase rapidly in tandem with the rise in the amount of livestock consumed, should dietary habits in developing countries change in the future. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2017, there is a need to increase food production by approximately 50% by 2050, against food production levels in 2012. On the other hand, if we were to turn our eyes to the domestic situation in Japan, while the country's food self-sufficiency rate (calorie basis (published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)) has been on a downward trend in the long-term, it has been levelling out in recent years, and reached 38% in FY2017. Japan continues to be dependent on the import of much of its food over the long-term; in order for Japan to avoid the problem of food supply shortage, it needs to increase domestic food production, and at the same time, actively promote food production worldwide in order to ensure the stability of imports. In the event that global food supply falls short due to a large-scale drought or other factors, it is also necessary for Japan to contribute as a member of the international community, including providing support to other countries. Furthermore, rather than temporarily increasing food production amidst rising food demand, there is a need to secure the sustainability of increased food production while reducing the burden on the environment. In addition, food also suffers from quality deterioration over time, and is easily damaged by diseases and pests. As such, to ensure the efficient consumption of agricultural produce, it is necessary to create stable markets for agricultural products as well as trading systems, and to improve logistics. It is vital to consolidate Japan's food security through these efforts.

Japan's diplomatic efforts for Food Security

(3) Fisheries (Including Tuna and Whaling)

Japan is one of the major fishing countries and consumers of fishery products in the world and plays an active role in the proper conservation and management measures and sustainable use of living marine resources.

Regarding whaling, under the basic policy of pursuing the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting scientific whale research programs, based upon scientific evidence and international law in order to gather scientific data that is necessary for the appropriate management of whale resources, Japan has implemented the “New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A)” since December 2015, which was finalized taking into account the Judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in March 2014 as well as issues pointed out by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Moreover, a proposal for the “New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Western North Pacific (NEWREP-NP)” was submitted to the Scientific Committee of the IWC in November 2016. The research program was finalized in May 2017, fully taking into account IWC Scientific Committee discussions, and the research program was implemented from June 2017. Anti-whaling countries occupy the majority at the IWC, and while the international situation regarding whaling still remains difficult, Japan is making persistent efforts to deepen understanding among the international community based on scientific evidence and international law.

At the 67th Meeting of the IWC held in September 2018, Japan presented the IWC reform proposal to restore the IWC's role as a resource conservation and management organization and for achieving the coexistence of parties with different positions on whales and whaling. However, it was rejected by the majority of anti-whaling countries. It was shown once again that it was extremely difficult to achieve coexistence of different positions within the IWC, and that anti-whaling countries have no intention to allow commercial whaling in any form.

After the 67th Meeting of the IWC and based on these circumstances, Japan seriously considered every possible option regarding its future relationship with the IWC, and decided to withdraw from the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). The Government of Japan gave a notice of withdrawal to the U.S. Government, which is the depositary government (the withdrawal takes effect on June 30, 2019).

Japan, as one of the largest tuna-consumers, has joined all Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) for tuna, and leads discussions on strengthening the conservation and management measures (CMM). In 2018, regarding the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the results of stock assessment evaluations on Pacific Bluefin tuna indicated that the probability of achieving the interim recovery target exceeded 75%. Although Japan proposed an increased allowance to the Northern Committee10 in accordance with the catch control rules based on the results, it did not reach an agreement as some members opposed it as premature. At the annual meeting it was decided to discuss the increased allowance again after confirming the status of resources by the next Northern Committee. On the other hand, Japan proposed a revised amendment to the Pacific Bluefin tuna conservation and management measure that any underage of the catch limit might be added to the catch limit for the following year within 5% of its annual initial catch limit, and it was adopted at the annual meeting. In addition, regarding bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and skipjack tuna, the current CMM11 was reviewed at the annual meeting, and it was eventually agreed to extend the current measures by two years (2019 to 2020).

At the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) 2017 Annual Meeting, there was an agreement that the total allowable catch (TAC) of the Atlantic Bluefin tuna stock will be gradually increased from the current 23,655 tons to 36,000 tons by 2020, and at the 2018 Annual Meeting, discussions for a review of management measures for Atlantic Bluefin tuna (allocation of those yet to be allocated, relaxation of fishing season, etc.) were continued.

At the 4th Annual Session of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) held in July 2018, for Pacific Saury, it was agreed to (1) make additions to current CMM to prevent discards and encourage to refrain from catching juvenile fish, and (2) work to obtain consensus stock assessment results agreed at the 2019 Scientific Committee Meeting in spring. Additionally, with regards to bottom fish, as a result of discussions based on Japan's suggestions, the commission adopted the CMM that the catch of North Pacific armorhead in the Emperor seamounts was limited to half of the level in recent years and might be increased when a strong recruitment of North Pacific armorhead was detected through the monitoring surveys. Regarding illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, four new IUU fishing vessels were added to the IUU fishing boat list based on Japan's proposal (a total of 27 stateless ships listed), and High Seas Boarding and Inspection Implementation Plan was formulated.

As for the Japanese eel, which was discussed at the COP17 Meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora's (CITIES) in 2016, the 11th informal consultations held by East Asian countries and regions in June 2018 confirmed that they will cooperate in introducing conservation and management measures based on scientific evidence. In response to this, a regional workshop on the Japanese eel was held in September 2018 to confirm scientific data and information on the Japanese eel, with the participation of scientists from Japan, the ROK, and Chinese Taipei.

In the high seas portion of the Arctic Ocean, although the commercial fishing is unlikely to become viable in the near future, concern over the start of unregulated fishing has risen as ice coverage in that area has diminished due to climate change and other phenomena. Against this background, five coastal states (Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the U.S.) and Japan, China, the ROK, Iceland and the EU consulted on the regulation of high seas fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean and the “Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean” was created. All of them signed the Agreement in Ilulissat, Denmark in October 2018.

  • 10 An accredited body of the WCPFC that makes recommendations to the Commission on conservation and management measures for resources (Pacific bluefin tuna, North Pacific albacore, North Pacific swordfish) that are distributed mainly in waters north of latitude 20 degrees north.
  • 11 Regulation for (1) purse seine fisheries, ban periods and number limits for FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) and (2) long line fisheries, and catch limits for bigeye tuna

Whaling Policy

1. History of Japan's whaling policy

In 1951, Japan acceded to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). The ICRW specifies two objectives: “appropriate conservation of whales” and “orderly development of the whaling industry.” The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was established as an organization to achieve these goals.

Nevertheless, amid growing momentum toward the conservation of whales since the 1970s, the IWC decided in 1982 that the commercial catch quota be set at zero for the time being (so-called “commercial whaling moratorium”). It also decided at the time to consider setting a catch limit other than zero (i.e. resumption of commercial whaling) after assessment of the status of whale resources by 1990.

Japan has conducted scientific research on whales, permitted under ICRW since 1987, and has contributed to the collection of scientific data to realize sustainable commercial whaling. The data acquired from this research have confirmed that certain whale species could be utilized sustainably. Despite these scientific findings, opposition by anti-whaling countries has prevented the modification of the “commercial whaling moratorium” thus far.

Furthermore, Japan made serious arguments, including a proposal to reform the IWC, with the aim of bringing the IWC back to its original objective of sustainable use of whale resources. However, there was not any change in the attitudes of the member states opposed to any form of whaling.

2. Japan's efforts at the 67th Meeting of the IWC

Japan proposed a comprehensive reform of the IWC at the 67th Meeting of the IWC General Assembly (held in Florianopolis, Brazil) in September 2018 in an effort to break the stalemate. The proposal sought to achieve coexistence of member countries with different positions on whaling within the framework of the IWC by bringing the IWC back to its original role and enabling discussions and decisions based on scientific knowledge.

Anti-whaling countries, however, asserted that “the IWC has already ‘evolved' into an organization that exclusively aims for protection of whales” and took the consistent position of not accepting any proposal that leads to commercial whaling. Japan's proposal was ultimately rejected by voting with 27 votes in favor, 41 votes in opposition, and 2 abstentions.

Additionally, the anti-whaling countries proposed the “Florianopolis Declaration,” which emphasized the importance of continuing the commercial whaling moratorium and rejected the need for lethal research. The proposal was adopted with 40 votes in favor, 27 votes in opposition, and 4 abstentions.

These outcomes unveiled that anti-whaling countries have no intention to accept even coexistence with member countries with different views.

3. Withdrawal from the ICRW

Based on the Meeting results, the Government of Japan seriously considered every possible option regarding its future relationship with the IWC. It concluded that Japan's fundamental policy of sustainable use of marine resources based on scientific evidence could not be achieved in the current IWC and gave notice of its withdrawal from the ICRW to the U.S. Government, which is the depositary government, on December 26, 2018. Japan's withdrawal from the ICRW takes effect on June 30, 2019.

4. Resumption of commercial whaling and continued international cooperation

From July 2019, Japan will conduct commercial whaling in its own territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, in line with international law and within the catch limits calculated in line with the method adopted by the IWC to avoid negative impact on whale resources.

At the same time, Japan's position on international cooperation on the management of whale resources remains unchanged. After its withdrawal from the IWC, Japan will engage with the IWC as an observer and contribute to whale resource management by facilitating discussions based on scientific knowledge.

The IWC should return to its role as stipulated in the ICRW, which is to promote conservation and sustainable use of whale resources. In this respect, Japan has not altered its stance of seriously pursuing IWC reforms and will actively facilitate discussions aimed at restoring the functions of the IWC.

The Government of Japan is committed to continuing accurate and dispassionate dissemination of information to the international community on its position and the status of whale resources.

(4) Foreign Direct Investment in Japan

The target to double foreign companies' direct investment in Japan to 35 trillion yen by 2020, was laid out in the “Investments for the Future Strategy 2018” (June 2018 Cabinet Decision) (28.6 trillion yen as of the end of 2017). With the “Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan,” which has been held since 2014 to spearhead the initiative to promote activities for discovering and attracting investments, while gathering opinions from foreign company managers, Japan continues to make further progress in implementing additional measures such as regulatory and institutional reforms contributing to the improvement of the investment environment in Japan, responding to the needs of foreign companies, and supporting measures to expand investments effectively. Based on the Five Promises for Attracting Foreign Businesses to Japan, decided at the 2nd meeting of the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan held in March 2015, foreign companies have been utilizing the Investment Advisor Assignment System since April 2016, and are meeting with the relevant State Ministers in charge. In addition, the Working Group for Revising Regulations and Administrative Procedures has been convened since August 2016, to review the streamlining of regulations and administrative procedures that pose a challenge to foreign companies when they are investing in Japan. The summaries of the Working Group meetings have also been reflected in the Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2017 and Investments for the Future Strategy 2017. The 6th meeting of the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan, held in May 2018, decided on the “Support Program for Regional Foreign Direct Investment in Japan” in order for the Government of Japan as a whole to support direct foreign investment in the Japanese region.

MOFA has been implementing various measures adopted by the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan, initiatives making use of diplomatic resources through diplomatic missions overseas, and trade promotion by key government officials. It is also strategically implementing various initiatives toward promoting foreign direct investment in Japan. The “Contact Points for Direct Investment toward Japan” established at 126 diplomatic missions overseas in April 2016, have been working in collaboration with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), carrying out surveys of requests for improvements to Japanese regulations and systems, calling for investments in Japan by making use of networks of contacts at diplomatic missions overseas, holding events for promoting foreign direct investment in Japan, and implementing other proactive initiatives. Last year (FY2017), the various diplomatic missions had a track record of more than 650 cases. In Japan, MOFA hosted the Japan-U.S.-Europe Business Seminar in March 2017 (organized jointly with the relevant ministries, the Japan Institute of International Affairs, and JETRO). During Prime Minister Abe's visit to the U.S. in September 2017, he introduced the results and future direction of reforms through Abenomics, and called for greater investment in Japan at a meeting with U.S. CEOs and in his economic speech delivered at the New York Stock Exchange.

(5) The Road to 2025 World Expo Osaka, Kansai, Japan

On November 23, 2018, Japan was elected as the country to host the 2025 World Exposition at the election held at the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Exposition (BIE) in Paris. The election was contested among three candidatures, i.e. Japan (Osaka, Kansai), Russia (Ekaterinburg) and Azerbaijan (Baku) and Japan won the second (final) round against Russia.

To that end, the Government of Japan, in tandem with the local governments and the business communities, had carried out active election campaign for one and half years since its official announcement of running for the election. At the national level, the Prime Minister and relevant Ministers and other high ranking officials took every opportunity to request their counterparts' support for Osaka when they met at bilateral or multilateral fora, while the Japanese diplomatic missions headed by ambassadors conducted active campaign in each capital. The local governments and the business community jointly established 2025 Japan World Expo Committee and the Diet members organized a bipartisan alliance to promote the campaign through their own network and resources. World-renowned characters, Pokemon and Hello Kitty, that were appointed as Special Envoys greatly contributed toward attracting world's attention to the campaign.

In this way, “All-Japan” multilayered campaign brought the victory to 2025 World Expo Osaka, Kansai, Japan.

Final presentation before voting to decide host country (November, Paris, France; Photo: Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry)Final presentation before voting to decide host country (November, Paris, France; Photo: Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry)