Executive Director meets with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry


Dr Birol meeting with Hiroshige Seko, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (Photo: IEA)

TOKYO – Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, met with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr Hiroshige Seko, to discuss a range of issues including recent developments in global energy markets.

The meeting was held during a visit to Tokyo as Dr Birol participated in the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference, and where the IEA launched its latest annual review of gas security. 

Dr Birol and Minister Seko of METI discussed progress on deepening the IEA's engagement with emerging economies and options to develop more transparent and flexible markets LNG markets in Asia. Dr Birol also held other bilateral meetings, including with ministers from India, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei. He also met with Mr. Iwao Horii, Japan's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In his scene-setting address for the conference, Dr Birol focused on how LNG was reshaping the global gas market. He emphasized how the LNG business had gone through fundamental changes over the past few years, and how it could redraw the global energy map for both consumers and producers.

Dr Birol said that LNG markets are witnessing a new supply boom led by the United States and Australia in the next five years. This wave of new LNG supplies is outpacing the growth in demand, creating a natural gas glut through 2022.

The IEA has received a mandate from its member countries to review natural gas security. The latest assessment, Global Gas Security Review 2017, found that market flexibility was improving thanks to LNG and that markets were currently well supplied, but that gas security remained a concern.