Niigata Governor Hanazumi Hideyo visited the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on Sept. 1 and met with Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nakatani Shinichi. Hanazumi serves as the chair of the Japan Sea Alliance for Promoting Marine Energy Resource Development, which is made up of 12 prefectures along the Sea of Japan coast. Hanazumi submitted to Nakatani a written request to promote the development of methane hydrate in the Sea of Japan.
Hanazumi explained at the meeting that methane hydrate is a “valuable domestic energy source at a time of growing interest in energy security due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” Nakatani reportedly responded, “I am fully aware of its importance and would like to move forward with its development.”
The request calls for proceeding with the development plan so that the methane hydrate off the coast of the Sea of Japan can be commercialized at an early date and aiming for production tests by FY2024.