Japan questions Indonesia`s gas supply policy
Japanese businessmen grouped in Nippon Keidanren (Kadin`s Japanese counterpart) have started to wonder about Indonesia`s gas supply policy after the Indonesian government prioritized the meeting its domestic needs, rather than exports to Japan. Chairman of Nippon Keidanren Fuji Mitarai told chairman of the Regional Representatives Council DPD) Ginandjar Kartasasmita about this development …
“Keidanren has indeed questioned the matter, but we have already explained them that Indonesia has no problem in gas supplies to Japan under the agreed contract. Indonesia respects the contract with Japan,” the former mines and energy minister said. Now the problem is, said the honorable lecturer at Waseda University in Tokyo, the new contract which has yet to be renewed. “It is in this context that the government has invited Japan to actively assist Indonesia explorations and development of other alternative resources,” said Ginandjar.
Indonesia and Japan are currently engaged in bargaining in the energy sector. And Vice President Jusuf Kalla when on a visit to Tokyo by the end of May this year, have also touched on this sector.
Japan as an industrialized country consumed a great deal of energy, and therefore needs regular and stable gas supplies from its suppliers like Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Japan`s gas consumption in 2004 reached more than 70.3 million metric tons, 68 percent of which had been imported.
It is just another sign that Japanese Government has started to influence Indonesian energy policy to fulfill their own interest. Attracting Japanese investors to invest in energy exploration sector in order to increase energy export is clearly not a fair solution. Instead, Indonesian government must urge its counterpart to relocate some of their energy intensive industries to Indonesia.