Abstract of the International Symposium (Friday, August 3, 2007)

Picture Symposium2007

  • Date
  • Friday, August 3, 2007
  • Location:
  • Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center(1 Yumebutai, Awaji-shi, Hyogo)
  • Theme:
  • "Asia, Struggling with Energy Issues"
  • Details
  • (1)Commemorative Lecture(13:30-14:45)
    • "Overall energy policy in China"Zhou Dadi
      Former Director General, Energy Research Institute,National Development and Reform Commission, China
  • (2)Panel Discussion
  • (15:00~17:00)
    • Panelists
    • Zhou Dadi
    • Former Director General, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission, China
    • Karen Schneider
    • Deputy Executive Director, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics
    • Tsutomu Toichi
    • Senior Managing Director & Chief Knowledge Officer,The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
    • Takeshi Murota
    • Professor, Department of Economics, Doshisha University
    • Nobutaka Morimitsu
    • Senior Staff Engineer, BR Energy Affairs Department,Toyota Motor Corporation
  • (Coordinator)
    • Makoto Iokibe
    • President, National Defense Academy of Japan/Emeritus Professor, Kobe University

The International Symposium was opened by Mr. Satoshi Iue, Representative Director of the Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan who provided the welcome message to participants. He was followed with a message of greetings by Mr. Tomio Saito, Vice Governer of Hyogo Prefecture as deputy for Mr. Toshizo Ido, Governor of Hyogo Prefecture. A commemorative lecture was then given by Mr. Zhou Dadi, former Director General of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, China on the theme of "overall energy policy in China". In his commemorative lecture, Mr. Zhou Dadi spoke of current energy consumption in China, pointing out that "energy consumption in China reached 2.4 billion tons in 2006 because of sharp economic growth at a rate of 9% per year for the last five years. At the present rate, energy demand will be more than double to the equivalent of 5 billion tons of coal by 2020, thus posing a threat to both the environment and China's energy security." He continued with energy conservation activities of the Chinese government, stating that the "State Council has already developed a target for energy conservation. Especially in this year's 5-year plan, a target of 20% energy efficiency improvements within five years has been set, requiring an average reduction each year of more than 4%. Targets have been assigned to each of the provinces and cities, and all the factories and energy-intensive or big energy consumers must determine their own energy conservation plans and targets." As a final note, Mr. Zhou Dadi said, "cooperation on a global scale and from all sectors is necessary to solve energy issues. China wants to learn about energy policy and technologies from Japan." A panel discussion on the theme of "Asia, struggling with energy issues" followed with Mr. Makoto Iokibe, President of the National Defense Academy of Japan and Emeritus Professor of Kobe University, coordinating and Mr. Zhou Dadi among the panelists. Discussions were multifaceted and active as they addressed current energy consumption in the Asia Pacific Region, measures to solve problems and activities of governments and the private sector. Ms. Karen Schneider, Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, commented that "energy consumption was rising sharply in China and India because of economic growth and growing populations, and it is necessary to develop resources, keep international trade and investment systems open and reduce the impact of rising energy demand in order to secure the resources needed to meet the increasing requirements of international energy markets." Mr. Tsutomu Toichi, Senior Managing Director and Chief Knowledge Officer of The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, said that, "in order to ensure a stable supply of energy and solve the global warming problem, it is necessary to maximize energy conservation and effective energy utilization in industry, homes, business and transportation. For this to happen, it is necessary to appropriately introduce renewable energies, biofuels, solar power and wind power, and, in the interim, promote the use of nuclear power with the maximum consideration going to its safety. In this regards, the major issue facing Japan is how to spread world class technology in the energy conservation and low carbon release fields to Asia and other parts of the world." Mr. Takeshi Murota, Professor of the Department of Economics at Doshisha University, reported in detail about current oil and natural gas development in Eastern Siberia and Fareast Russia, including the Sakhalin 1 and Sakhalin 2 projects. He added that Japanese environmental technology could play a vital role in balancing development in Sakhalin and the biodiversity of the Sea of Okhotsk. Moreover, Mr. Nobutaka Morimitsu, Senior Staff Engineer of the BR Energy Affairs Department of the Toyota Motor Corporation, talked in detail about advanced vehicle development at Toyota and particularly hybrid cars. He stated that the "Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is targeting a 20% reduction in fossil fuel consumption in the transportation sector by 2030 in their New National Energy Strategy and Toyota Motor is developing vehicles to help attain that goal. Using 10% biofuel and 10% electricity, it can be done. If high efficiency biofuel technology progresses rapidly, a plug-in hybrid that combines an internal combustion engine running on biofuel with a battery will be developed in the future."

Hearing what the other panelists had to say, Mr. Zhou Dadi agreed that it was important to technically address development and greenhouse gas reduction at the same time. In his words, "What Toyota is doing is fantastic. If all countries promoted activities like that, there would be technological choices. China needs to learn as much new technology as possible and make efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, but until practical technology is available, it is necessary to change to an economic pattern with as low CO2 emissions as possible while continuing to supply the people with all of their energy needs and without politically forcing them to wait on development."

As a final note, coordinator, Mr. Makoto Iokibe capped the panel discussion by saying, "in order to solve the problems facing the planet and all mankind, it seems conclusively necessary for countries to develop relations based on trust and goodwill, and for industrially advanced nations and developing nations to cooperate in building a single community in which everyone bears responsibilities in proportion to their stage of development." The International Symposium came to end to the supporting applause of the 250 or so persons in attendance, including participants from eleven countries, to note the Philippine Ambassador to Japan.

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