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Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomes cooperation with International Energy Charter

Energy Charter Assistant Secretary General Dr. Masami Nakata, paid a courtesy call to the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Masahisa Sato on 3 October 2017 in Tokyo. During the meeting, Mr. Sato explained that tackling global energy challenges eventually would lead to Japan’s energy security. Japan would like to strengthen investment protection and improve  the business environment through the Energy Charter Treaty (ETC), so maintaining a good partnership with the International Energy Charter is important. In this regard, Mr. Sato requested Dr. Nakata to play a role in building a bridge between Japan and the Energy Charter Secretariat to facilitate smooth and effective collaboration. Dr. Nakata expressed gratitude for Japan’s strong leadership in the Energy Charter Process. Since Japan’s support is crucial for the ECT, the Secretariat would like to continue to work closely with Japan. 

The courtesy visit was followed by a lecture on the “Energy Charter Treaty and recent developments” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There were about 90 participants from private enterprises, law firms, relevant ministries & agencies and NGOs in the lecture hall. During the lecture, Dr. Nakata gave a brief introduction about the Treaty including the history behind the International Energy Charter, and the latest developments in the Energy Charter Process. She also talked about Japan’s important role as a chairmanship last year. Japan hosted the 27th Energy Charter Conference in Tokyo last November which has generated a number of important decisions and culminated in the Tokyo declaration. 

The lecture also had two resource experts: Mr. Masato Watanabe, chief energy strategist and Senior Vice President of Mitsubishi Corporation, and Professor Yuka Fukunaga, professor at the School of Social Sciences, Waseda University. Mr. Watanabe talked about the significance of the Energy Charter Treaty in the energy transition. Prof. Fukunaga introduced several examples of investment dispute and arbitration based on the Energy Charter Treaty.