Japan lays out plan to issue $157 bln in 'green transition' bonds

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announces a joint statement with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel at the prime minister's official residence, in Tokyo, Japan May 12, 2022. Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool via REUTERS

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TOKYO, May 19 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday laid out a plan to issue an estimated 20 trillion yen ($157 billion) worth of "green transition" bonds to help finance investment to achieve a carbon-neutral society.

The move highlights Tokyo's efforts to seek alternative sources of energy as Russia's invasion of Ukraine illustrated the risks the country faces from its heavy reliance on fuel imports.

"The energy security environment surrounding Japan has changed dramatically with Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Kishida said in a meeting with experts to discuss Japan's clean energy strategy, calling for the need to shift to a carbon-neutral society from one dependent on fossil fuel.

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In the meeting, Kishida said Japan would need at least 150 trillion yen in combined private- and public-investment in the next decade to achieve a carbon-neutral society.

Of that amount, the government must raise an estimated 20 trillion yen through issuance of green transition bonds, he said.

The government will also create a 10-year road map to promote green investment that would include financial aid and infrastructure building, Kishida said.

Details of the green transition bonds, including the specific amount to be issued, will be discussed at a panel to be set up later this year, a government official said.

($1 = 127.6900 yen)

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Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto and Ritsuko Shimizu, writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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