Weekly Japanese Industry and Policy News Nov. 18 - Nov 24, 2022

The EU-Japan Centre is pleased to start a new weekly service by publishing brief summary of the latest information from the Japanese governmental organizations & private companies/organizations. A couple of minutes reading to be informed about what is happening in Japan's policy, economy, EU-Japan relations, and innovation.

*Information is collected at the time of confirmation.


IAEA conducted review of treated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited Japan from November 14 to 18 to review the safety of ALPS-treated water at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. 7 IAEA staff and 9 international experts from Argentina, China, South Korea, France, the Marshall Islands, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam visited the site. The review mission on the safety of ALPS-treated water is carried out based on the terms of reference (TOR) signed between the IAEA and Japan in July last year, and this is the second time. The first was held from February 14th to 18th this year. The results of this review are scheduled to be published as a report by the IAEA around the beginning of next year.

METI website: https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2022/1118_001.html

APEC Leaders' Declaration contained both opinions concerning Russia's invasion 
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, which was held in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, by 21 countries and regions, including Japan, the United States, China, and Russia, closed on Nov.19 with the adoption of a summit declaration. Most members strongly condemned the war and emphasized that it exacerbates the fragility and vulnerability of the world economy, the declaration said, bearing in mind the situation in Ukraine. However, it also indicated that there was a difference of opinion over Russia, and basically followed the summit declaration of the Group of 20 major countries and regions (G20) summit that ended on Nov. 16. 

METI website: https://www.apec.org/meeting-papers/annual-ministerial-meetings/2022/2022-apec-ministerial-meeting

METI Compiled FY2021 Energy Supply and Demand Results
METI and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy have compiled the energy supply and demand results (preliminary report) for FY2021. According to the report, overall energy demand increased by 2.0% from the previous year. Among them, coal increased by 12.1%, city gas by 4.5%, electric power by 2.0%, and oil by 0.4%. On the supply side, overall supply increased by 3.4% year-on-year. Fossil fuels increased by 1.4%, the first increase in eight years. On the other hand, renewable energy (including hydropower) increased for the ninth consecutive year. Energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 1.2% from the previous year and decreased by 20.7% from FY2013 to 980 million tons, remaining below 1 billion tons for the second consecutive year.

METI website (in Japanese): https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2022/11/20221122001/20221122001.html

Yamaha adopts biomaterials for watercraft parts
Yamaha Motor announced on November 16 that it will use plant-derived cellulose nanofiber reinforced resin "Cellenpia Plas (R)" for its marine products. This is the first attempt in the world to put biomaterials to practical use in transportation equipment parts. The material will be developed jointly with Nippon Paper Industries. This CNF reinforced resin is manufactured by kneading and dispersing CNF, a biomass material that utilizes wood resources, into a resin such as polypropylene. It is possible to reduce the weight by 25% or more compared to existing resin materials. It also has excellent material recyclability, which helps reduce the amount of plastic used and greenhouse gas emissions.

YAMAHA website: https://global.yamaha-motor.com/news/2022/1116/pwc.html

Toshiba ESS uses rocks for heat storage and power generation 
Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) announced Nov. 21 that it set up Japan's first test facility with a heat capacity of approximately 500 kWh at Toshiba's Yokohama Plant on November 21, and began full-scale technology development and verification in the development of rock heat storage technology. Toshiba ESS, together with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and Marubeni Corporation, is working on technology development for an energy storage service business using rock heat storage technology as a commissioned work by the Ministry of the Environment. So far, the three companies have focused on rock heat storage technology, which is expected to be superior to lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen in terms of environmental friendliness, economy, and facility reliability, and have been conducting joint basic research.

Toshiba ESS website (in Japanese): https://www.global.toshiba/jp/news/energy/2022/11/news-20221121-01.html

Sumitomo Forestry digitizes forest information and visualizes CO2 absorption
Sumitomo Forestry announced on November 21 that Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture, NTT, Regional Revitalization Co-Design Research Institute and the company have conducted a joint demonstration project to digitize forest information and visualize CO2 absorption. Based on the CO2 absorption data obtained from the demonstration, the company plans to promote the creation of carbon credits in the city's forests using the "J-credit" system. Proceeds from the sale of credits will be used for forest maintenance costs such as thinning and planting, promoting the cyclical use of forests and supporting sustainable forest management in the city. In addition, they will continue to improve this model to improve the functions of forests as CO2 absorption sources and create new sources of revenue.

SUMITOMO FORESTRY website (in Japanese): https://sfc.jp/information/news/2022/2022-11-21.html

Xocova (Ensitrelvir Fumaric Acid) Tablets 125mg Appoved in Japan for the Treatment 
Shionogi & Co., Ltd. today announced that Xocova® (Generic name: ensitrelvir fumaric acid, Code No.: S-217622), a novel anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug for COVID-19 obtained emergency regulatory approval from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan for the indication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This approval was granted under the emergency regulatory approval system provided for in Article 14-2-2 of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Act. In addition, a contract with the MHLW for the Japanese government to purchase 1 million courses of Xocova® is now effective in accordance with the basic agreement for domestic supply of Xocova® signed by Shionogi and the MHLW in March 2022 1.

Shionogi & Co Website: https://www.shionogi.com/global/en/news/2022/11/e20221122.html

Results of Survey of Japanese Companies in Europe affected by Ukraine war (September 2022) -Nearly 80% of respondents indicated a negative impact due to rising energy prices, etc.
From September 1st to September 26th 2022, JETRO conducted a survey of 1,445 Japanese companies in Europe regarding the impact on their business, countermeasures, and concerns related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 
Key findings of the survey
-Russia's invasion of Ukraine had a "negative impact" on the business of 77.0% of Japanese companies in Europe. This trend was particularly pronounced in the manufacturing sector (83.7%) with some sectors exceeding 90%.
-The most frequently cited negative impacts were "energy price hikes" (65.1%), "raw material and resource price hikes" (55.9%), and "logistics disruptions and stagnation" (54.0%).
-As of the time of the survey, 50.5% of Japanese companies in Europe were taking measures to "pass on prices to suppliers. This was followed by "diversification of suppliers" (27.5%) and "development of new suppliers" (25.1%). A higher percentage of manufacturers (29.4%) took measures to "build up inventory" (29.4%).

JETRO website (in Japanese): https://www.jetro.go.jp/news/releases/2022/7ff46d6b118a8017.html

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