Assistant Secretary Pyatt: I know there are a lot of smart, ambitious women in the energy industry in Greece because I run into them when I go to companies, but they don’t have voices. So we created a Women in Energy Group because it is a sector which traditionally has been male dominated in the United States, in Europe, I’m guessing here in Japan also.
It is also an industry that is incredibly important to the future, and I have been impressed because of energy transition and how important energy issues are to larger issues of competitiveness and climate. We see a dynamic where energy is at the front of the conversation in a way it has not always been.
When we put this program together for my first visit to Japan as Assistant Secretary, it was a natural opportunity to have this kind of conversation.
I would really like to talk to you not so much as women but as energy experts. Let me say also, I’m coming to this visit — first of all, this is in order to launch a new energy security dialogue between the United States and Japan. We’ve never had this before. My delegation will be meeting with METI today and MOFA tomorrow, but it is in the context of Japan’s presidency of the G7 next year — a priority that Prime Minister Kishida has placed on energy issues, but also the priority the United States places on our alliance with Japan.
The United States recognizes that Japan has a unique energy system as an island, as an industrialized economy. You also have unique potential. You have a large economy. You have a very large industrial, innovative ecosystem so you will be an important part of all of the transitions that are going to unfold in the global energy system in terms of wind, solar, nuclear, storage, hydrogen, interpretation of transportation. All of the changes that are happening in the energy ecosystem.
The last point I will make, the energy security part of my job has been shaped more than anything else by what Russia has done in Ukraine and the impact that has had on local energy prices. We recognize that Japan has been affected by this, like others.
Japan also has an experience with Russian territorial ambitions, so we recognize you see both sides of the story. But I would be interested in hearing from you. I have a very good feel because I lived in Europe for the first three months of the invasion of Ukraine. I understand how Europeans are feeling, and Europe has been particularly affected because Europe was so dependent on Russian gas — much too dependent on Russian gas, so as prices spiked, Europe found itself in an unsustainable situation.
But I’d be interested to hear from you how that feels.