NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series 42
Washington, D.C.
Hiroyuki Takai, Senior Vice President, Sumitomo Corporation of America
Nobuo Tanaka, Special Advisor, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Samantha Gross, Fellow, Brooking Institution

June 9, 2020

The NAJAS/KKC Business Speaker Series was held in cooperation with the Japan-America Society of Wessington D.C. as an online event. Mr. Hiroyuki Takai, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sumitomo Corporation of America, Mr. Nobuo Tanaka, Special Advisor of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Ms. Samantha Gross, Fellow of Brooking Institution were invited as speakers.

Mr. Takai’s speech focused on Sumitomo’s presence in the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, using the company’s successful affiliate ‘Pacific Summit Energy’, a quickly growing North American energy and marketing organization owned by Sumitomo, as one example of the company’s involvement in the North American Market.

Mr. Tanaka who is the former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency argued that the recent decline of the oil markets was not solely a product of COVID-19, but rather a combination of factors including a long-term downward trend in the market as well as a shift in the primary roles in the field, such as the United States predicted move from a net importer of oil and gas to an exporter by 2040.

Ms. Gross talked about future implications for the industry after COVID-19, including the effects of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. She pointed out that while current levels of greenhouse gas emissions are at a lower rate than average due to COVID-19, this shouldn’t be an indication that the industry is headed in a downward trend.