Yomiuri took up remarks made to the press yesterday by Chairman Mimura of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry regarding UK energy giant Shell’s decision to pull out of the Sakhalin 2 offshore LNG drilling initiative in the Russian Far East. He urged Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corporation, the two Japanese trading firms that are major stakeholders in the project, not to readily follow Shell’s lead by citing the importance of consideration for the nation’s energy security. Mimura said he is worried that the withdrawal of the two Japanese companies would end up allowing the Chinese to acquire natural gas produced there.
According to NHK, when asked by a reporter last night about the administration’s response to U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobile’s planned disinvestment from the Sakhalin 1 oilfield development project, in which the Japanese government is also closely involved, Prime Minister Kishida said: “We must deal with the initiative as a key national interest aimed at ensuring a stable energy supply and energy security. A decision will be made while monitoring the situation closely.”