Sony has warned the Japanese government it may have to shift manufacturing out of the country unless rules on renewable energy are relaxed, as it tries to meet the green energy promises of customers such as Apple, according to a minister. The comments from chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida underscore the pressures Japanese businesses are under to erase the carbon footprint of their manufacturing facilities as Apple, Facebook and other technology groups seek to shift their global supply chains to 100 per cent renewable power.

Sony’s concerns were echoed by the chief executives of Ricoh, the electronics company, cosmetics business Kao and fund manager Nissay Asset Management during a meeting with Taro Kono, Japan’s minister for administrative reform, earlier this month. “They told me it’s very difficult for them to purchase renewable energy in Japan. The quantity is limited and the price is very high,” Mr Kono said in an interview with the Financial Times. “So they told me either we do something about renewables or they have to move out of Japan.”

The chief executives of Sony, Ricoh, Kao, and Nissay Asset Management meet with Japan’s reform minister Taro Kono on November 18 to discuss renewable energy O Japan Climate Initiative Mr. Kono acknowledged that Japan was “lagging behind” other countries in the use of renewable energy. He announced last week the establishment of a government task force to examine regulations that are hampering the expansion of green energy.

The focus on renewables comes in the wake of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s recent pledge to make Japan carbon neutral by 2050. But the government has yet to outline specific steps to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, which increased sharply after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The government’s existing plan calls for the use of renewables to increase from 17 percent of electricity in the 2018 fiscal year to as much as 24 percent by

2030, but that would still be below the 30 percent already achieved by many