Global Energy News Roundup: April 26

The Forum on Energy weekly news roundup brings together a mix of global energy stories from around the web. It is published every week. Please visit our page on Twitter via @forumonenergy

Prime Minister Abe Meets with President Trump in Washington, D.C.

US President Trump and Japanese Prime Minsister Abe meet today in Washington D.C. to try to reach a trade deal. The upcoming G-20 summit, China, and North Korea are also expected to be part of the discussion. Bloomberg published a detailed article answering the 8 questions listed below. Please see here for the author’s answers to these questions.

1. What are the two sides after?

2. Why are these talks happening?

3. What’s being negotiated?

4. What about the ‘currency clause’?

5. How big is the U.S. trade deficit with Japan?

6. What’s the timetable?

7. What’s motivating Japan?

8. What about the U.S.?

Source: Bloomberg

Japan Nuclear Power Plants Threatened with Closure if New Antiterrorism Standards are Not Met

Nuclear power plants throughout Japan are facing tougher antiterrorism measures that could mean reactors will have to be shut down. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority are instigating rules that will require power companies to shut down nuclear reactors if they do not meet new antiterrorism measures by a specific deadline. According to the article, nine reactors are currently online at five nuclear plants across Japan and these are unlikely to have the necessary facilities completed before the deadline. The necessary facilities include separate buildings where the nuclear reactors can be remotely controlled in an event of an emergency. The original deadline to have these built was July 2018, but was extended when it became apparent the nuclear power companies could not meet this deadline.

Source: The Jakarta Post

5 Takeaways from the Japan-U.S. Security Talks

Japan-U.S. security talks took place last week in Washington D.C. Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya traveled to the U.S. and met with their counterparts in the first 2 plus 2 Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting since 2017. Michael MacArthur Bosack, a former Japan-U.S. alliance manager monitored the events and came away with five takeaways from the meetings. These takeaways were notable to Bosack because, according to him, “three [were] transformative for the alliance and two…portend friction for the security partners.” Please see below for his takeaways.

  • The first takeaway and a high point for the SCC relates to the cyber domain.
  • The second transformative takeaway from the SCC was the declaration of a shared vision for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
  • Third, the SCC offered its strongest statement yet on the alliance’s commitment to fostering multilateralism.
  • The fourth takeaway and a future point of friction relates to the section in the “fact sheet” regarding aviation safety.
  • Finally, the SCC fact sheet ended with a statement on alliance cooperation in support of the 2020 Olympics.

Source: The Japan Times