Chief Cabinet Secretary also seriously concerned about the issue

Akimoto: There is no self-running SEP ship in Japan or a port that can be used as a base port for construction of offshore wind power facilities. If a base port is constructed in Busan in South Korea, for example, prior to Japan constructing such a port, South Korean companies may handle the construction of offshore wind power facilities in Japan, Taiwan and China. In the past, Japan was slow in constructing ports and lost to South Korea in the competition for a logistics base port in Far East Asia.

To avoid such situation, action should be taken to construct base ports by significantly increasing the renewable energy ratio in the current discussions reviewing the basic energy plan.

Q: What type of offshore wind turbine do you have in mind, the fixed type or floating type?

Akimoto: Both. Floating portions of floating-type wind turbines are designed and manufactured by shipbuilding companies. Japan led the global shipbuilding industry for a long time, but the shipbuilding industry in Japan has been facing keen competition with South Korean and Chinese shipbuilders. If offshore floating wind turbines are realized, Japanese shipbuilding technologies can be utilized and a large volume of orders can be expected.

Q: What is the reaction of the LDP to the proposal of the Parliamentary Association for Promotion of Renewable Energies?

Akimoto: The proposal was handed to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on September 15. He evaluated the proposal positively and said, "We are very seriously concerned about the issue" (Fig. 3). The Parliamentary Association for Promotion of Renewable Energies was established two years ago and now has roughly 100 LDP members. The members have been increasing little by little, even during the period when members are not recruited.

Fig. 3: Proposal handed to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (source: Website of lower house member Masatoshi Akimoto)

An increasing number of local governments have been paying attention to local production of decentralized power sources for local consumption. Diet members are frequently consulted by local governments on the system, and they sometimes contact us saying, "We would like to learn about the system by joining the association."

There are a variety of parliamentary associations, but only the associations that promote nuclear power and the Parliamentary Association for Promotion of Renewable Energies have more than 100 members. Expansion of renewable energies has greatly accelerated in Japan and abroad in recent years, and the trend is the same for the LDP. We would like to take positive actions aiming to increase the ratio of renewable energies in the basic energy plan.