JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Japan has called on Indonesia to revoke the coal export ban following the recent Southeast Asian country’s decision to avoid outages at domestic coal-fired power plants.
The call was made by Japan’s Ambassador to Indonesia Kanasugi Kenji in a written statement to Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif, expressing his country’s serious concerns over the temporary halt of coal exports for January.
Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, supplied around 400 million tons in 2020 to various countries, including Japan as one of its biggest customers.
In the letter, Ambassador Kenji said that Japan had not been granted the departure permits and the cargo ships could not leave the port since Jan. 1.
“Japan regularly imports approximately two million tons of coal per month from Indonesia for electricity generation and manufacturers and the coal export ban has a serious impact on Japan’s economic activities as well as people’s daily life,” Kenji wrote on Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Kenji explained that Japan could obtain several alternative fuels but it is not feasible right now amid the high demand for electricity in winter. He also understands Indonesia’s concerns on low supplies of coal for domestic power plants. However, he said that Japan imports high caloric coal, which is different from what has been used by local power plants in Indonesia.
“It means that the export of high caloric coal to Japan should not cause a significant impact on the local supplies for Indonesia. Therefore, I call on [Indonesia] to immediately revoke the coal export ban to Japan,” the Ambassador said.
He also said that the departure permits for the five vessels to carry the coal to Japan will soon be issued.
Kenji hoped that the government of Indonesia will give its attention to the matter and discuss it with the Japanese business community to maintain and further develop good economic relations between both countries.
(Writer: Arfyana Citra Rahayu | Editor : Erlangga Djumena)
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