"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by the Prime Minister regarding the Reduction Targets for Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the Declaration of a State of Emergency, and Other Matters

[Date] April 22, 2021
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(On the reason for setting a target to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent in fiscal year 2030 from the fiscal year 2013 levels)

We held a meeting of the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters earlier and decided to set a target to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent in fiscal year 2030 from the fiscal year 2013 levels while continuing to take on a challenge to aim at the goal of cutting our emissions by 50 percent. I would like to announce this decision to the international community at the upcoming Leaders Summit on Climate. We would like to lead global discussion by achieving a top-level ambitious target, raising more than 70 percent from our previous one.

(On the details of the declaration of a state of emergency, including the target area, period, industries which will be requested to close, etc.)

We have received requests to declare a state of emergency from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo Prefectural Governments. We have also received a request from the Ehime Prefectural Government to apply priority measures, such as for prevention of the spread of disease. Thus, we have decided to consult the expert committee tomorrow on those requests. Details and the duration are still under consideration. In any case, we would like to implement intensive measures focusing on the upcoming Golden Week to prevent and contain the spread of infections by all means.

(On whether the 46 percent figure is realistic or not)

The Government arrived at the figure by adding up. We would like to make our utmost efforts to achieve it.

(On the restart of nuclear power plants to achieve the target)

Before anything else, we would like to boldly implement measures focusing on energy conservation and renewable energy. Energy conservation is our first priority.

(On the grounds for the 46 percent figure)

The entire government, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment, accumulated the figures, and as a result, we have decided on the 46 percent reduction target.

(On the reason for not setting the reduction target at 45 percent)

The 46 percent figure is the result of adding up the numbers and if we make utmost efforts, this figure came into view. We would like to strive to achieve the target.

(On which renewable energy sector the government intends to place particular focus on)

First of all, we believe that offshore wind energy would be our focus. We also plan to take thorough measures towards energy conservation, targeting all sorts of houses, using solar energy and such.

(On whether the reduction target can be achieved without the restart of nuclear power plants)

With regard to the restart of nuclear power plants, figures did come up within the conventional threshold. But at the same time, we would like to further promote energy conservation.

(On whether the priority measures have been insufficient in the four prefectures where a state of emergency declaration is being considered)

We have yet to verify the fact, however, I believe that the big factor is the spread of coronavirus variants.

(On whether Fukuoka Prefecture would be added to areas where the priority measures will be applied)

We are coordinating with the prefectural government, but we have not yet made a decision at the moment.

(On whether it comes from a sense of urgency)

We are working out measures based on numbers, not on the sense of urgency.