Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Metals & Mining
Tokyo, Japan

Climate Lobbying Overview: The Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) has actively opposed various climate-related policies in Japan, including carbon taxes, the emissions trading system (ETS), and the feed-in tariff (FIT). It appears to support a sustained role for fossil fuels in the power sector alongside nuclear and renewables.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: JISF has communicated negative top-line positions on climate policy, appearing to question Japan’s 2050 net-zero target and IPCC science. JISF raised concerns that Japan’s Long-Term Strategy under the Paris Agreement gave “the impression that science equals the IPCC report” in a joint meeting with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Ministry of Environment (MoE) in August 2021 and requested revisions “based on the science of Japan” in a statement on its website in October 2021. In a METI-MoE meeting in February 2021, JISF supported Japan’s “ambitious policy” of 2050 carbon neutrality while emphasizing that decarbonization "will entail a great social burden.” However, then-chairman of JISF, Eiji Hashimoto, was quoted by Asahi Shimbun in January 2021 as saying that “there is no prospect” of realizing Japan’s net-zero goal. In a METI-MoE meeting in May 2021, JISF urged the government to “mobilize various policy tools” in the Global Warming Countermeasures Plan while “assessing the effects and costs.” In a METI-MoE meeting in August 2021, JISF emphasized concerns over feasibility and costs of policies, including the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures. According to a Nikkei report in May 2022, JISF Chairman Yoshihisa Kitano opposed the need for carbon pricing. JISF appeared to support the goals of the UN Paris Agreement in February 2021, stating in a METI hearing that its members are advancing its voluntary plan “toward the achievement of Japan’s medium-term goal (2030) of the Paris Agreement.”

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: JISF has actively engaged in opposition to various climate-related policies, particularly the 2030 GHG emissions target, carbon taxes, emissions trading systems (ETS), and feed-in tariff (FIT). In October 2021 JISF submitted a statement on the draft Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures to the Japanese government, appearing to question the feasibility of the medium-term target and suggesting the plan be made flexible so that targets could be revised “downward.” On JISF’s website in January 2022, then-Chairman Hashimoto stated that carbon taxes and ETS “hinder innovation” and do not “meet the purpose of carbon neutrality.” In MoE hearings, JISF appeared to advocate for industrial exemptions from carbon taxes and ETS in Japan in May 2021, and expressed opposition to the EU carbon border adjustment measures (CBAM) in March 2022.

Chairman Hashimoto requested a “drastic review” of electricity rates in a statement on JISF’s website in January, and JISF stated opposition to increases in the FIT levy under the 6th Basic Energy Plan in a statement submitted to the government in October 2021. While JISF supported energy efficiency investment policies in a METI committee in March 2021, it emphasized that there is currently little room for further improvement.

Positioning on Energy Transition: JISF generally takes negative positions on the energy transition, supporting a mix of renewables, nuclear, and fossil fuels while emphasizing concerns regarding the cost and reliability of renewables. It has supported decarbonizing the steel sector, including public investment, while remaining ambiguous on the role of regulations and emphasizing concerns over technical feasibility. In a METI hearing in March 2021, then-Chairman Hashimoto stated that the “use of certain fossil fuel energy is also essential” alongside nuclear energy. In a message on JISF’s website in January 2022, he emphasized cost and feasibility issues of renewable energy, while supporting the need for nuclear energy. In addition, in a METI committee in April 2021, Hashimoto requested that hydrogen and ammonia be used “in large quantities” in power generation, without specifying a position on their decarbonization.

JISF advocates for hydrogen and government support for technological development to decarbonize the steel industry, although with strong emphasis on high technical and economic hurdles and some ambiguity on the role of regulations. In a METI hearing in February 2022, then-Chairman Hashimoto requested government support for R&D to decarbonize the steel industry, in addition to carbon-free hydrogen and electricity and “CCUS for the remaining CO2.” JISF advocated for a policy package emulating the Green Deal to support R&D in a METI hearing in March 2022, and supported the development of green hydrogen, in a METI-sponsored symposium in May 2022. On JISF’s website in January 2022, Hashimoto emphasized that decarbonizing “fields where there are no technical options,” such as steel, “requires challenging the extremely high hurdles of technological development,” however in February 2021 Asahi Shimbun quoted a JISF official stating that “there is no foundation even now” in hydrogen-reduction ironmaking.

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