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 deemed correct at the time of release. 

Development of EV battery supply network in Japan and Canada, leading to tax incentives in the US
On September 21, the governments of Japan and Canada agreed to jointly create a supply chain for storage batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The government will provide subsidies and other support to Japanese companies expanding into Canada in the exploration and processing of important minerals used in storage batteries. If this becomes a reality, Japanese EVs sold in the U.S. will be more likely to qualify for preferential tax treatment.

METI Minister Nishimura signed a memorandum of cooperation on the storage battery supply chain with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Champagne and others in Ottawa. The METI will encourage Japanese companies to expand into Canada in areas such as exploration and processing of important minerals and production plants for storage batteries. The Canadian government will facilitate procedures for Japanese companies to obtain development permits and support negotiations with indigenous peoples during exploration.

METI Minister's visit to Canada was accompanied by eight companies and organizations, including battery manufacturers such as Panasonic Energy, a subsidiary of Panasonic Holdings, and Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), a group company of Toyota Motor, as well as Mitsubishi Corporation. 
Each company also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian company. Japan relies on China to procure important minerals used in storage batteries, and from the perspective of economic security, Japan is urgently expanding its sources of important minerals.

METI website (in Japanese):

Japan Weeks is held, an event where the government and financial world invites foreign money
The government and the financial world will jointly hold "Japan Weeks" from September 25 to October 6. They will intensively invite overseas investors and asset management companies to Japan and communicate an effort to transform Japan from savings to investment and asset management. Appealing to both the public and private sectors will lead to investment and new entry into Japan. In addition to the economic events held by various organizations and companies in previous years, a new event was set up for direct discussions between foreign investors and Japanese companies to create a sense of unity.

As part of this event, Prime Minister Kishida will attend the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) annual conference, to be held in Tokyo from October 3 to 5. The conference brings together more than 1,000 people, including investors, pension managers, and policy makers, to exchange opinions on topics such as ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) investing.

On October 2, the International Corporate Governance Network will hold a seminar on the theme of corporate governance. Norwegian pension funds and others will participate. On October 3, they will invite the California State Employees' Retirement Pension Fund, which is promoting pioneering initiatives such as dialogue with companies, to hold a meeting to exchange opinions with Japanese pensions and companies. On October 5 and 6, US asset management giant BlackRock will hold a roundtable with foreign investors and government officials. In aiming to become a nation built on asset management, reforms such as pensions for asset owners are essential.

Japan Weeks website:

ITOCHU and Peninsula Petroleum jointly develop ammonia bunkering in Spain
ITOCHU Corporation announced on September 22 that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Peninsula Petroleum, a major marine fuel supplier, regarding the joint development of ammonia bunkering (marine fuel supply) in Spain. Ammonia is expected to be a zero-emission fuel that contributes to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction strategy advocated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and is being considered by many stakeholders, including not only those involved in the maritime industry but also shippers and fuel producers. 

Peninsula is one of the leading companies working on alternative fuels for ships, including LNG and biofuels, and has strong relationships with major companies and a strong foothold in the Mediterranean region, including the Port of Algeciras. Peninsula's active efforts and knowledge regarding alternative marine fuels are expected to greatly contribute to the development of ammonia bunkering at the Port of Algeciras.

ITOCHU Corporation has been promoting the development of ammonia bunkering in Singapore together with partner companies, but this is not only the case in Spain, but also in other European regions, Panama, the Middle East, Japan, and other key locations for international maritime logistics. 

ITOCHU website:

Tokyo Stock Exchange opens "Carbon Credit Market", trading starts from October 11
The Tokyo Stock Exchange announced on September 22 that the carbon credit market will open on October 11. The company also announced that the number of participants in the carbon credit market since its opening has increased to 188. This market is expected to provide a place where carbon credits can be collectively traded in earnest in Japan, as well as to publicize the price of such credits.

In 2022, the company was commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to conduct a carbon credit market demonstration project. In addition to listed companies, 183 participants included general business companies, financial institutions, and local government-related parties. J-Credit, which is derived from renewable energy and energy conservation, owned by the government was sold on the market, and a total of 148,933 tons of CO2 was sold during the period.

Tokyo stock exchange website:

Prime Minister Kishida gives speech in New York and creates "Special Asset Management Zone" to expand investment
On September 21, Prime Minister Kishida gave a speech at a meeting hosted by the New York Economic Club, which is made up of business executives and financial professionals, and said that in order to increase foreign investment in Japan, the government creates a special asset management zone which administrative procedures can be conducted only in English. The aim is to improve convenience for business and daily life and attract foreign asset management experts. 

In the speech, he emphasized, “We will carry out structural reforms, which have been pointed out as being lagging in Japan's efforts.” He explained that the total amount of assets under management in Japan has increased 1.5 times in three years, reaching JP¥ 800 trillion, and said, “We will advance the sophistication of asset management and encourage new entry. We will correct barriers to entry.”

Specifically, in addition to amending laws to ease regulations in preparation for the creation of special asset management zones, Japan and the U.S. will launch the “Asset Management Forum”. Furthermore, from the end of this month to the beginning of October, “Japan Weeks” will be held to give people a chance to experience the attractiveness of Japan's financial market, and will explain this initiative as a policy package to overseas investors.

Prime Minister’s Office website:

Toshiba establishes decarbonization and circular economy technology base in Germany
Toshiba announced on September 21 that it has opened a new technology base, the Regenerative Innovation Center, in Düsseldorf, Germany, with the aim of accelerating the realization of a carbon-neutral circular economy (CN/CE) through digitalization. The new technology base will work with partners to promote cutting-edge technology development, social demonstration of the group's technologies, and standardization activities.

Specifically, it is planning activities in technical fields such as the “device field'' includes batteries and semiconductors, the “energy field'' includes renewable energy, hydrogen, and energy management, and the “carbon negative field'' includes recovery, transportation, storage, and utilization related to CO2 removal and the “digital platform field'' that utilizes energy and CO2 data.

Furthermore, it has invited RWTH Aachen University, which is a leader in cutting-edge energy technology in the European region, and the Wuppertal Institute, which pursues sustainability of the global environment, as advisors, to
serve as a hub function for collaborating with leading universities and research institutes across Europe.

Toshiba website:

METI holds hydrogen ministerial meeting
On September 25, 2023, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) held the 6th Hydrogen Ministerial Conference as part of Tokyo GX Week. Twenty-three countries, regions, and organizations participated in the conference, and the following contents were compiled as the chair's summary in order to accelerate and expand the progress of the Tokyo Declaration and the Global Action Agenda. METI Minister Nishimura attended and the key points of the chairman's summary are as follows.

    Sharing with each country an additional global goal of 150 million tons of hydrogen demand by 2030, of which 90 million tons of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen demand.
    Further expansion of hydrogen utilization will be a breakthrough in decarbonization, and it will also create new industries such as hydrogen production, create 800,000 new jobs by 2030, and contribute to sustainable global growth. 
    Accelerating the development of international standards and mutual recognition based on carbon intensity and sharing the concept of carbon intensity with countries other than the G7.
    Sharing the need to further expand hydrogen utilization by collaborating with the World Bank and other financial institutions to accelerate financial support in emerging countries and attract private investment.

METI website :

Nissan plans to make all new European cars EV by 2030
Nissan Motor announced on September 25 that all new vehicles it will launch in the European market by 2030 will be electric vehicles (EVs). In Europe, where EVs are becoming more popular than in Japan, the company has made it clear that it is accelerating the transition from engine cars to EVs and responding to environmental regulations. Nissan plans to bring 27 electric vehicle models to market worldwide by 2030, of which 19 will be EVs. Nissan manufactures its flagship EV, the Leaf, at its Sunderland plant in the UK.

Europe has been enforcing strict environmental regulations, but on September 20, the UK announced that it would postpone the ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars, originally scheduled for 2030, to 2035. The EU has also begun to revise its policy, including allowing some engine-powered cars that had been banned since 2035. Against this backdrop, Nissan aims to quickly shift to EVs and expand its market share.

Nissan website:

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