Diplomatic Bluebook 2020

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

Recent years have seen structural changes in the international energy market with respect to three things: (1) demand (consumption), (2) supply (production), and (3) resource selection. Regarding (1) demand, global demand for primary energy has shifted toward non-OECD member countries, primarily China and India. With respect to (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. is promoting energy export policies such as by announcing the promotion of further exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the Trump administration. Regarding (3) resource selection, based on the fact that energy production and use account for about two-thirds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the transition to cleaner energy resources such as renewable energy is accelerating. Additionally, since the Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted in December 2015, companies have made further advances toward low-carbonization.

Concerning crude oil prices, attacks on a natural gas refinery (in August) and oil refinery (in September) in Saudi Arabia have increased geopolitical risk. This has caused increased oil prices while prompting the U.S. and other non-OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) member countries to increase crude oil production. Furthermore, trade friction between the U.S. and China has stifled growth in oil demand, leading to drops in oil prices. It is important that continued attention is paid to the impact of these oil price fluctuations on future energy security.

(B) Situation in Japan

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the percentage of fossil fuels in Japan has reached about 90% of the country's power generation in 2012, up from about 60% before the earthquake, due to the shutdown of nuclear power plants. LNG has seen a particular increase, now accounting for roughly 40% of total power generation. 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, and other energy resources dropped sharply from 20% before the earthquake to 6.4% in 2014. It remains at a low level despite a rise to 8.3% in FY 2016. Furthermore, nearly 90% of crude oil and more than 20% of natural gas imported by Japan come from the Middle East (both in 2019). Under the circumstances, efforts to secure a stable supply of energy at reasonable prices are becoming increasingly important.

Against this backdrop, the Cabinet decided on the “5th Strategic Energy Plan” in July 2018. Aiming to realize a stable, low-burden, and environmentally compatible energy supply and demand structure under the 3E+S principle (“Energy Security,” “Economic Efficiency,” “Environment,” and “Safety”), this new Plan includes efforts aimed at utilizing renewable energy as the major power source and promoting energy system reform. It aims to steadily achieve the energy mix needed to realize a 26% greenhouse gas reduction by 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 a vital Japanese economy and the livelihoods of its people. MOFA has been strengthening diplomatic efforts with a focus on the following activities.

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

With a view to strengthening the function of diplomatic missions overseas, as of the end of 2019, “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. MOFA also holds “Strategy Meetings on Energy and Mineral Resources” every year, which bring together officials assigned to diplomatic missions overseas in countries that are important to ensuring a stable supply of energy and mineral resources. The most recent meeting was held in Tokyo in February 2019 and attended by representatives from the relevant ministries and private-sector agencies. Lively discussions were held on the international situation surrounding energy and mineral resources, as well as on the direction of Japan's strategies in light of this situation. Additionally, since 2017 MOFA has held Regional Meetings on Energy and Mineral Resources for specific regions. At the 2019 meeting, held in Egypt and focused on the Middle Eastern region, participants discussed the importance of strengthening collaboration among MOFA, diplomatic missions overseas, and government-affiliated organizations, as well as Japan's plan for conducting energy resource, mineral resource, and renewable energy diplomacy effectively.

(B) Securing Transportation Route Safety

Piracy threatens the sea lane stretching from the Middle East to Japan, through which approximately 90% of all imports to Japan pass, as well as other internationally important sea lanes in places such as the Gulf of Aden and waters off the coast of Somalia. In response, Japan has supported the coastal countries along these lanes through such measures as enhancing counter-piracy capacities, cooperating on information sharing among countries concerned, and developing navigation facilities. Japan has also been dispatching Japan Self-Defense Force units and Japanese Coast Guard officers to areas off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden to engage in escort operations for any countries' 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. While endeavoring to strengthen its capability to respond to emergencies such as disruptions in oil supply, Japan strives to quickly and accurately grasp information such as trends in the global energy markets and resource-producing countries, as well as revisions to the medium- and long-term outlooks for supply and demand.

The G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth was held in Karuizawa, with Japan as G20 Presidency and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Seko Hiroshige and Minister of the Environment Harada Yoshiaki serving as co-chairs. Attending from MOFA was Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuji Kiyoto. In the Ministers' Communiqué and “G20 Karuizawa Innovation Action Plan” adopted at the meeting as outcome documents, ministers agreed on the importance of a virtuous cycle of environment and growth and, in the field of energy, on the importance of energy innovations such as hydrogen, CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage), and carbon recycling to drive an energy transition that will achieve the 3E+S principle (Energy Security, Economic Efficiency, and Environment + Security). In the G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration adopted at the G20 Osaka Summit in June, leaders affirmed the importance of achieving energy security and of further developing innovative, clean, and efficient technologies toward realizing an energy transition. At the 27th Ministerial Meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA), held in Paris in December, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Wakamiya Kenji and State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Matsumoto Yohei attended from Japan. Chaired by the Ambassador of the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD, the Meetings saw discussions held concerning strengthening relationships with non-IEA members, including emerging countries in Asia. Serving as the chair country for the Meeting, Japan led the ministers to an agreement to begin discussions aimed at establishing a “strategic partnership” with India. A Ministerial Communiqué was adopted at the Meeting for the first time in 10 years, with Japan making a contribution.

At the East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting, Japan presented initiatives concerning achieving a hydrogen-fueled society, reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector, carbon recycling initiatives, and distributed energy initiatives, while also launching the “Cleaner Energy Future Initiative for ASEAN (CEFIA)” and speaking on the importance of regional clean coal technology development and natural gas utilization. Japan also welcomed attendees from abroad at three international conferences on energy that were held in Japan (the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting, International Conference on Carbon Recycling, and LNG Producer-Consumer Conference).

C Major Efforts Concerning Energy and Resource Diplomacy in 2019
(A) Consideration and Launch of New Energy and Resource Foreign Policy

At the Ninth Session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly held in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in January 2019, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsuji Kiyoto gave a speech while standing in for Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono. In the speech, he spoke on the increasing momentum in the international community toward solving the problem of climate change and on the dramatic drop of renewable energy generation costs in recent years. He explained that Japan is working to achieve a policy centered on making renewable energy Japan's main power source, and how Japan is leveraging its experience in driving renewable energy adoption and making efforts as a country with visionary solutions to problems faced by other IRENA member states. He then explained that this positions Japan to play a role in responding to a worldwide desire for further adoption of renewable energy, giving examples of efforts Japan is making in terms of developing and supporting advanced technologies and innovation. Mr. Tsuji also touched on the fact that Japan aims to use opportunities such as the TICAD7 and G20, for which it is the president, to contribute to promoting worldwide efforts concerning renewable energy with the goal of achieving a virtuous cycle of environment and growth while improving the world's access to energy.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Tsuji giving a speech at the Ninth Session of the IRENA Assembly (January, Abu Dhabi, UAE)Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Tsuji giving a speech at the Ninth Session of the IRENA Assembly (January, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
(B) Strategy Meeting on Diplomatic Missions Overseas Concerning Energy and Mineral Resources

The Strategy Meeting on Energy and Mineral Resources was held over two days on February 25 and 26 at MOFA. In attendance were seven Special Assistants for Energy and Mineral Resources and officials working at diplomatic missions overseas that are located in seven countries and regions and that are engaged in securing a stable supply of energy and mineral resources for Japan. These meetings have been held in Tokyo every year since 2009. Attending this year's meeting were Director General of the Economic Affairs Bureau and other MOFA officials, the aforementioned seven foreign mission officials, officials from relevant ministries, and people from various organizations and companies. Attendees held in-depth discussions on issues and measures related to securing a stable supply of resources in Japan and actively conducting energy and resource diplomacy.

The discussions at this strategy meeting touched on how countries' energy policies amid the recent energy situation are both directly and indirectly impacting not just the energy situations in surrounding countries and regions but the entire world, and how the environment surrounding the international energy situation is becoming increasingly diverse and uncertain. Based on this premise, attendees affirmed matters such as the necessity for diplomatic missions overseas to correctly ascertain the current situation concerning energy policy and the supply and demand situations in other countries and regions in order to create a system that can rapidly respond to short-term changes while keeping in mind a long-term outlook.

(C) Study Tour of Hydrogen Energy Facilities in Kawasaki City and Yokohama City for the Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo

On Tuesday, March 19, MOFA conducted a study tour of hydrogen energy facilities in the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama for the Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo, in cooperation with the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, the Ministry of the Environment, and the city of Kawasaki.

This study tour was held to provide the Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo with information about the efforts Japan is making based on the Basic Hydrogen Strategy (formulated in December 2017), which aims to make Japan one of the first countries in the world to achieve a hydrogen-based society, and to inform the world of Japan's hydrogen technologies and related projects. 13 embassy staff from 12 countries participated in the tour.

The coastal regions of the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama are home to a number of facilities related to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. During this study tour, participants observed a hydrogen station owned by Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha, Ltd., Chiyoda Corporation's SPERA Hydrogen demonstration plant, and a stand-alone hydrogen energy supply system from Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation.

Additionally, a seminar on policies and technologies for expanding the usage of hydrogen was held at the Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel, which itself uses hydrogen energy.

The attending diplomatic corps expressed great interest in the state-of-the-art hydrogen energy technologies, with members engaging in a lively Q&A session. The corps members later said that the study tour had given them a comprehensive understanding of Japan's hydrogen energy policies and companies' hydrogen energy projects.

(2) Ensuring Food Security

According to reports by the UN Population Division, the 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 9.7 billion by 2050. Furthermore, should dietary habits in the developing world change in the future and lead to greater livestock consumption, demand for grain to feed that livestock would increase several times over. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2013, there is a need to increase food production by approximately 60% by 2050 compared to the level in 2005/2007. Shifting focus to 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 leveling out in recent years, reaching 37% in FY2018. Japan continues to be dependent on imports for much of its food over the long-term. To ensure a stable food supply for its people, Japan needs to increase domestic food production achieving the optimal ratio of importing to stockpiling. Amid global concern over the untenable supply and demand situation over the medium- to long-term, Japan must make active efforts to increase the food supply globally if it is going to continue enjoying stable food imports. As a member of the international community, Japan must also prepare for the possibility of global food supply shortfalls caused by simultaneously-occurring events such as drought in major food producing countries. Furthermore, rather than temporarily increasing food production demand, there is a need to achieve a sustained food production increase while reducing the burden on the environment. In addition, as food quality deteriorates over time and food is easily damaged by diseases and pests, stable agricultural produce markets and trading systems must be created and logistics must be improved. Through initiatives such as these, Japan must take steps to ensure food security.

Diplomatic Efforts for Food Security in Japan
A Cooperation in International Frameworks Concerning Food Security

Within the G20 framework, at the G20 Niigata Agriculture Ministers' Meeting held in May, the ministers discussed human resource development, new technologies, the agro-food value chain (FVC), and the SDGs under the theme of “Toward Sustainable Agro-Food Sector – Emerging Issues and Good Practices.” The ministers also discussed measures to address transboundary animal diseases and plant pests. In particular, ministers shared a view on the importance of international cooperation toward tackling African Swine Fever (ASF).

Cooperative efforts are also being made at the regional level. In APEC, member countries are engaging in related cooperation through the APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) in the form of collaborations between not just authorities in member nations and regions but also within the private sector. Under the leadership of Chile, 2019's APEC chair, discussions were held on fostering sustainable food system, utilizing innovations and new technologies, promoting collaboration, strengthening FVC and trade, and ramping up regional development for better opportunities.

B Cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)

As a responsible member of the international community, Japan supports the activities of the FAO, a specialized agency of the UN in the fields of food and agriculture. Japan, a major donor to the FAO as the second highest contributor of assessed contributions, significantly contributes to strengthening global food security through efforts such as providing development assistance in the areas of food and agriculture for developing countries, and creating international rules that include phytosanitary measures and food safety standards. Japan also works to strengthen its relationship with the FAO, holding Annual Strategic Consultations and conducting seminars for the general populace aimed at raising awareness for the FAO domestically and increasing the number of Japanese FAO personnel.

(3) Fisheries (Including Whaling and Tuna)

As one of the major fishing countries and consumers of fishery products in the world, Japan, in coordination with international organizations, plays an active role in the proper conservation and management measures and sustainable use of marine living resources.

With regard to whaling, Japan has consistently maintained the basic position to promote sustainable use of marine living resources based on scientific evidence. In accordance with this policy, Japan resumed commercial whaling in July 2019 following its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on June 30. Whaling is conducted within Japan's territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and within the catch limits calculated in line with the method adopted by the IWC (RMP). It has been confirmed that the continuous harvest of a calculated number of whales for 100 years would have no harmful effect on the targeted stock.

Japan has conducted scientific whale research programs for many years with the aim of gathering the scientific data needed to sustainably use and properly manage whale resources. In coordination with international organizations and in line with a policy of cooperating with international efforts to manage marine living resources, Japan will continue to conduct research programs that include Japanese Abundance and Stock structure Surveys in the Antarctic (JASS-A), as well as joint sighting surveys with the IWC (IWC-POWER), while providing information to the IWC and other international organizations (see the Column on page 295).

As calls within the international community intensify for urgent action against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Japan is stepping up efforts to combat IUU fishing. For instance, Japan took the initiative in referring to “the importance of addressing IUU fishing for ensuring the sustainable use of marine resources and conserving the marine environment including biodiversity” in the leaders' declaration issued at the G20 Osaka Summit in 2019, where Japan served as chair. Japan also urges countries to accede to the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, which establishes rules for port countries to take measures against IUU fishing vessels, including denial of port entry.

In the Central Arctic Ocean, while commercial fishing is unlikely to become viable in the near future, there have been concerns that unregulated fishing will begin as ice coverage in that area has diminished due to global warming. Consequently, nine countries and the EU, including Japan and five nations bordering the Arctic Ocean, signed the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean in October 2018. Japan deposited the instrument of acceptance of the Agreement on July 23, 2019.

As one of the largest tuna consumers, Japan has joined all Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) for tuna, and leads discussions on strengthening conservation and management measures (CMM). With regard to the Pacific Bluefin tuna, at the 2019 meeting of the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), based on scientific knowledge such as the recovery of adult fish stock, Japan proposed an increased catch limit to an extent that the certain probability of achieving the rebuilding target is maintained. While some cautious comments resulted in the catch limit not being increased, revisions to the CMM were adopted at the meeting of the Northern Committee and the Regular Session of the WCPFC that stated that members of the WCPFC may carry their initial 2019 catch limits from the current 5% to 17%, which remain uncaught, to 2020 and 300 tons of the catch limit of Pacific bluefin tuna may be transferred from Chinese Taipei to Japan in 2020, subject to a notification by Chinese Taipei to the Secretariat. At the 2017 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Annual Meeting, it was decided that the total allowable catch (TAC) for Atlantic bluefin tuna until 2020 was increased based on the state of resource recovery. At the 2019 ICCAT Annual Meeting, draft convention amendments were adopted concerning matters such as the expansion of fish species, while the decision was made to decrease the TAC for tropical tuna such as bigeye tuna.

With respect to Pacific saury, at the 5th Annual Session of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC), held in July 2019, Japan led discussions toward the first ever decision that the TAC in the NPFC convention area (high seas) shall be limited to 330,000 metric tons for the 2020 fishing season. It was also decided that each Member of the Commission shall ensure that the total catch by fishing vessels entitled to fly its flag in 2020 will not exceed its reported catch in 2018, and that Members of the Commission shall consider allocation of the TAC in the Convention Area among Members at the Commission Meeting in 2020. At the 2020 Annual Meeting, the further decision to strengthen resource management is expected.

As for Japanese eel, in April 2019, at the informal consultation on international cooperation led by Japan, Japan, the ROK, and Chinese Taipei agreed to regularly hold scientific meetings with the goal of providing scientific advice on conservation and management measures and to cooperate toward improving traceability in international trade.

Japan's Whaling Policy: Practices of Public Diplomacy Addressed to the International Community

On December 26, 2018, Japan announced its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Thereafter, in accordance with the stipulations of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), the withdrawal became effective on June 30, 2019, and Japan's whaling resumed on July 1 for the first time in 31 years.

With regard to this decision, 67.7% of the respondents in the FY2018 Domestic Opinion Survey on Japan's Diplomacy rated it positively. On the other hand, when news of Japan's withdrawal from the IWC spread throughout the world, there were reports with a critical tone overseas. To deepen understanding among the international community about Japan's whaling policy, the Government of Japan made use of every possible opportunity to disseminate accurate information about whaling. These included contributing articles to the major newspapers (such as the New York Times and Washington Post), appealing to the public through Japan's diplomatic missions overseas, and presenting lectures when senior MOFA officials traveled overseas on official business, while highlighting the following key points.

1. The perception that “Japan's whaling drives whales to extinction” is inaccurate.

Japan is committed to the conservation of whale resources. Specifically, Japan sets a catch quota every year in line with calculation methods adopted by the IWC. In fact, based on these calculation methods, even if whaling was to be carried out continuously for 100 years, it would not have an adverse impact on resources.

In addition, Japan only permits the capture of whale species that the IWC has recognized as species for which there are abundant stocks.

2. The perception of “Japan versus the world” with regard to whaling is contrary to the facts.

Japan's basic position is to achieve a sustainable use of fishery resources. Of the 89 member countries of the IWC (as of May 2019 prior to Japan's withdrawal), 41 countries that share this position, including Japan, had consistently been working in cooperation toward realizing sustainable whaling.

Furthermore, Japan's whaling has been a part of Japanese culture inherited over the centuries. Just as it has been in Norway and Iceland, which have continued whaling while remaining in the IWC, as well as in the U.S. and Russia where whaling is recognized as the culture of the indigenous people.

3. The perception that “Japan is not cooperating with the international community after withdrawing from the IWC” is also contrary to the facts.

Even after its withdrawal from the IWC, Japan is committed to the management of international marine living resources in coordination with international organizations. At the meeting of the IWC Science Committee held in May 2019, Japan stated clearly its policy of continuing to contribute to the management of whale resources based on scientific evidence in cooperation with international organizations. For example, it will continue to engage in the joint scientific program with the IWC. In this respect, Japan's engagement is welcomed by the member countries.

Whaling has been a subject for debate for decades, based on a fixed perception of anti-whaling groups versus those who support whaling. However, as Japan continues to disseminate accurate information, rational arguments on whaling are now also taking place. In order to foster an environment that facilitates debate based on mutual respect and open-mindedness, while taking into consideration the latest scientific knowledge and evidences, and in line with Japan's basic policy of using fishery resources in a sustainable manner, Japan is tenaciously bringing forth counterarguments and disseminating accurate information in simple terms at every possible opportunity. The Government of Japan will strive to gain support both inside and out of Japan for its whaling policy. For information on the concrete practices, please visit MOFA's website.


MOFA's website

(4) Foreign Direct Investment in Japan

The target to double (compared to 2012) foreign companies' direct investment in Japan to 35 trillion yen by 2020 was laid out in the “Follow-up on the Growth Strategy” (June 2019 Cabinet Decision) (30.7 trillion yen as of the end of 2018). With the “Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan,” which has been held since 2014, spearheading initiatives 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. These reforms contribute to the improvement of the investment environment in Japan, respond to the needs of foreign companies, and support measures to expand investments effectively. Based on the Five Promises for Attracting Foreign Businesses to Japan, decided at the second 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 System12 since April 2016 and are meeting with the relevant State Ministers in charge and the State Ministers for Foreign Affairs. The sixth meeting of the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan, held in May 2018, finalized 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. The seventh meeting, held in April 2019, further strengthened this initiative and finalized the Program to Intensively Attract Foreign Direct Investment in Regional Japan.”

MOFA, along with implementing various measures adopted by the Council for Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan, is also utilizing diplomatic resources to engage in initiatives through diplomatic missions overseas and trade promotion by key government officials. MOFA 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 with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to conduct surveys of requests for improvements to Japanese regulations and systems, call for investments in Japan by making use of networks of contacts at diplomatic missions overseas, and hold events for promoting foreign direct investment in Japan, among other initiatives. Diplomatic missions conducted more than 700 cases in FY2018. As part of a trade promotion effort during senior officials' overseas visit, Prime Minister Abe encouraged executives and representatives of a wide range of UK companies, at a business reception held at 10 Downing Street, the office of the Prime Minister of the UK, to invest in Japan. In Japan, MOFA held a Global Business Seminar in March of 2019 (supported by JETRO and relevant ministries and agencies), which focused on the importance of expanding a free and fair economic sphere around the world, promoting bi-directional investment between Japan and Southeast Asia, the U.S., and Europe, while inviting more investment into regional Japan.

  • 12 A system that seeks to prepare an environment in which companies who have made important investments in Japan can easily consult with the Government of Japan through State Ministers and other officials that oversee the main industries in which these companies engage.

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

Following the decision on November 23, 2018 to hold the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Kansai, 2019 has seen efforts to plan for the event. January 30 saw the establishment of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (a public interest incorporated association since October 21). This was followed by the April 19 formulation and May 23 enactment of the Act on Special Measures Necessary for Preparing for and Managing the World Expo in 2025 by the Government of Japan. On May 31, based on this law, the Association was designated as the corporation responsible for conducting operations related to preparing for and conducting the 2025 World Expo. In December, the decision was made to hold the expo from April 13 to October 13, 2025.

As is also indicated in the Follow-up on the Growth Strategy decided by the Cabinet on June 21, once Japan receives approval for its expo plan (Registration Dossier) at a Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) General Assembly meeting on June 21, it will begin full-fledged invitation efforts aimed at getting as many countries to participate in the expo as possible.

With the theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” World Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai aims to accelerate initiatives toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are all to be achieved by 2030. The expo will also be a golden opportunity to communicate the appeal of Japan to the world. Japan will continue making a concerted national effort aimed at ensuring the expo inspires and surprises people around the world, while also bringing joy to everyone in Japan.