During 2023 the Japanese government steadily progressed with its "GX plans" - plans for an economy- and society-wide "Green Transformation". GR Japan has produced the attached summary of progress to date, particularly focused on recent preparations to issue Japan Climate Transition Bonds in February 2024 and plans announced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in December 2024 on how the funds raised will be spent.
The Japanese government has referred to offshore wind as a Japan's "trump card" for achieving its decarbonisation goals. While fixed-bottom offshore wind development in maritime waters faces challenges, the government is optimistic about the potential for floating offshore wind projects in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Japan took over the G7 Presidency on 1 January and in the environmental track is keen to showcase its "GX plans" - plans for an economy- and society-wide "Green Transformation". GR Japan has produced the attached summary of these plans from recent materials released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as reference for all those keen to engage and understand Japan's thinking on decarbonisation policies.
On 29 September, Fumio Kishida, former Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and Chair of the Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council, won the LDP presidential election, setting him up to become Japan’s 100th prime minister on 4 October.
After long resisting calls for stronger measures to control the increasing number of new Covid-19 infections, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed the government this week to prepare for a new state of emergency, which was officially announced on 7 January .
Japan’s government lifted the nationwide state of emergency on 25 May but some restrictions remain. The government is now working to lift border restrictions in phases with business travellers allowed in first, and resumption of tourism later in the year. Following the record-breaking supplementary budget on 30 April, the government is now preparing a second, even larger package to tackle the crisis and support economic recovery. The crisis has proved a challenge to Japanese leaders, with Abe’s ratings falling below 30% despite the low number of cases.
The world is grappling with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and Japan is no exception. The World Health Organization has stated that Europe is now the world’s COVID-19 pandemic epicenter. But Japan is in a delicate position as the country is gearing up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the timing of which is becoming increasingly uncertain.
The extraordinary Diet session was ended on Wednesday, 26 June, as scheduled. Now Prime Minister Abe focuses on the success of the G20 summit that is held today and tomorrow. It is crucial for him and his administration to appeal his diplomatic skills for the upcoming House of Councillors election scheduled on 21 July, aiming to win more than half of the 124 seats to be contested.
The 198th ordinary Diet session was convened today. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a policy speech at the opening of the session, seeking understanding for his plan to raise the consumption tax from 8 percent to 10 percent in October. He also expressed his intention of amending the Constitution, settling the territorial dispute with Russia and signing a peace treaty, and strengthening the nation's cyber and space defense programs.