April 04, 2023

Following Duckworth Visit, Japan Announces Regulatory Change to Allow Import of More U.S. Ethanol


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today applauded the regulatory change in Japan that will lead to an increase in imports from U.S. biofuel producers, supporting our farmers and growing Illinois’s economy. Duckworth traveled to Japan in February to meet with Japanese government officials and stakeholders and urge the nation to import more Illinois biofuels for a more sustainable energy future, including meetings with Japan Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi.

“After my conversations in Japan in February with government officials and stakeholders on the benefits of sustainable, low emission U.S. biofuels, I’m pleased with Japan’s decision to expand access for all U.S. biofuels in the Japanese market,” Duckworth said. “This change will help promote cleaner and more sustainable energy while helping support our farmers and growing the U.S.—and Illinois’s—economy. Illinois is ready to help bring our world into the future—and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure the whole world knows it.”

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry last week amended Japan’s Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply Structures Act to give U.S. ethanol a better rating helping Japan reach its climate targets. For the first time, U.S. ethanol will be able to access 100 percent of the Japanese biofuel market, up from 66 percent access in 2021, as a result of continued improvement in the reduction of carbon emission by the U.S. ethanol industry.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Duckworth is committed to positioning Illinois on a global stage. Earlier this year she traveled to Japan and Indonesia to strengthen economic ties and grow foreign investment in the U.S. Last year she traveled to South Korea and Taiwan where she met with business, government and trade leaders, which helped lead to a joint venture between Illinois’s ADM and South Korea’s LG Chem, as well as a commitment from Taiwan to purchase an estimated $2.6 billion of our state’s corn and soybeans.

Duckworth has been a leader in supporting biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). To help increase the year-round availability of E15 biofuels, Duckworth helped introduce the Next Generations Fuel Act Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 and the Next Generations Fuel Act to allow the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. Duckworth additionally helped introduced the Home Front Energy Independence Act to ban Russian oil and expand use and production of biofuel that’s grown in the American heartland, while providing American families with a less expensive option to fuel their vehicles. Duckworth also created a pilot project in the last National Defense Authorization Act to promote the use of SAF at military installations and will continue to increase these efforts to expand the use on biofuels whenever possible.