Takeshi SodaDirector, Oil & Gas DivisionMinistry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI)
Director, Oil & Gas Division
Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI)
Mr. Soda has served as Director, Oil and Gas Division since December 2019. He has long and rich experience of energy and climate change policy. Most recently, he served as Director, International Affairs Division since July 2019. Prior to that, he transferred to the U.S. and served as the Special Adviser to METI and Director of JETRO New York between 2016 and 2019. As a senior liaison between METI and the US government, he devoted himself to create Japan-US Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP), agreed between two top leaders of both countries in November 2017. As of now, JUSEP is the core of Japan-US economic cooperation and of Indo-Pacific strategy of both countries.
Before transferring to the U.S., Mr. Soda, serving as Executive Secretary to the Special Advisor of the Cabinet Office Minister in charge of overcoming population decline and revitalizing local economy, led the policy-making process and coordinated the government-wide activities related to revitalizing local economy between 2014 and 2016.
Mr. Soda joined METI in 1997. He spent almost his years in the field of energy, international economy, and financial affairs. He served to plan energy policy of Japan by deciding and allocating all energy budgets of METI for two years, which made him an expert of energy policy.
He also oversaw the long-term strategy of international trade policy for four years, contributing to form Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Export Credit Agency of Japan, in 2001.
Mr. Soda received an MBA in 2004 from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University in Atlanta, GA, USA. He obtained a BA in philosophy from the University of Tokyo in 1997.
Yoshimasa NakajimaMarketing Director - Ports & Harbours BureauMinistry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
Marketing Director - Ports & Harbours Bureau
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
Yoshimasa NAKAJIMA is the Marketing Director Ports and Harbours Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan.
He holds a Master of Public Policy from University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Civil Engineering from University of Tokyo.
He joined the MLIT of Japan in 2001, after his career as Deputy Director for law enforcement in Customs and Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance, and Director for International Policy in Ports and Harbors Bureau, MLIT, he was appointed as the Head of Kashima Port and Airport Office of Kanto regional Bureau, prior to his current appointment.
In his current capacity as Marketing Director, Ports and Harbors Bureau, MLIT, he coordinates hub port policies, including LNG bunkering.
Amy SweeneyDirector, Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement; Office of Oil and Natural GasUS Department of Energy (US DoE)
Director, Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement; Office of Oil and Natural Gas
US Department of Energy (US DoE)
Atsunori TakeuchiExecutive Officer - Senior General Manager of LNG Optimization & Trading DepartmentTokyo Gas
Executive Officer - Senior General Manager of LNG Optimization & Trading Department
Toshi Nishizawa is Executive Officer, Senior Operating Officer, Optimization Department, in charge of LNG procurement of JERA. Toshi has been with JERA (and formerly TEPCO) for more than 30 years. Prior to taking the current role in May 2019 he was Managing Director of JERA Australia and affiliates in Perth, where he managed several LNG upstream companies and investments there. Throughout his career Toshi worked for various aspects of LNG businesses: numbers of long/short-term/spot procurement negotiations, LNG upstream businesses including the first participation in the history by TEPCO, and related JV/commercial/financial/corporate aspects. He has an MBA from Cornell University and a BA from University of Tokyo.
Nobuo Tanaka is President of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation as of April 1st, 2015. He had been a former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) from 2007 to August 2011. He began his career in 1973 in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and has served in a number of high-ranking positions, including Director-General of the Multilateral Trade System Department. He was Minister for Industry, Trade and Energy at the Embassy of Japan, Washington DC. He has also served twice as Director for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) of the Paris-based international organization, OECD.
Yukari Niwa Yamashita is the IAEE President for 2020 and she is a Board Member for the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) and Director, in Charge of the Energy Data and Modelling Center. She is responsible for quantitative and qualitative analyses on energy policy issues. In the aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear incident, her team’s analyses and recommendations contributed greatly to the electricity saving campaign and debate regarding a national energy mix for Japan. Annual IEEJ's Outlook is globally recognized for its timely analyses and pragmatic approach towards climate change.
Kyoya NittaExecutive Officer, General Manager Offshore Gas Project DivisionMitsui O.S.K.Lines, Ltd
Executive Officer, General Manager Offshore Gas Project Division
Mitsui O.S.K.Lines, Ltd
Tom EarlChief Commercial OfficerVenture Global LNG
Chief Commercial Officer
Venture Global LNG
Tom Earl is the Chief Commercial Officer of VG LNG Marketing, LLC. Tom previously served as Vice President at the international oil company Total, focusing on the development of its global LNG business.
After graduating from City University in London with a degree in Engineering, Tom joined Total’s newly formed gas marketing and trading team in 1998. After various responsibilities within the trading division of the newly combined Total, Elf and Petrofina operations, he managed the natural gas option desk and gas trading desk. Tom successfully led significant commercial negotiations on long-term gas and LNG contracts in countries such as Russia, Norway and Qatar.
In 2006, Tom was appointed Head of Electricity Trading at Total where he led a significant expansion into newly opened power markets across Europe. In 2011, Tom moved to Houston, where he was appointed as head of Total’s North America commodity trading business, including its LNG, gas, power, coal, petcoke and LPG operations. Tom also represented Total in its US LNG liquefaction transactions from 2012 to 2015.
In 2015, Tom was appointed Vice President of Development for Total’s global LNG activities. Tom led Total’s most recent and highly regarded global expansion into new LNG markets. This work has included innovative new LNG terminal projects and new downstream asset transactions across the world.
Ajay SinghFounder & DirectorGlobal Hydrogen Development
Founder & Director
Global Hydrogen Development
Ajay Singh is director of Global Energy Development, a venture he founded in 2019 to aid the transition of oil and gas companies to clean energies. The firm is currently pursuing prospects for green hydrogen supply in collaboration with partner-customers. He has also just completed his term as Special Advisor to the chairman and president of Japan Petroleum Exploration Company, where he drove a major change in its LNG business, from a fixed project-based supply system to a flexible, open-market model. Earlier, Ajay worked internationally with Shell in its downstream, LNG and upstream businesses developing new gas markets (including Shell’s LNG business in India) and supply projects, among others. An alumnus of Harvard Business School, he has qualifications in business management and engineering.
Satomi TakeshitaProject Director, LNG Information Team, Research & Analysis DeptJOGMEC
Project Director, LNG Information Team, Research & Analysis Dept
Hiroshi HashimotoSenior Analyst - Head of Gas GroupThe Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)
Senior Analyst - Head of Gas Group
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)
Hiroshi Hashimoto has been a Senior LNG / Natural Gas Analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) in Tokyo since April 2010, after working on energy and natural gas issues for four years from 2006 at the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Prior to those, Hiroshi worked for Tokyo Gas for 20 years, assuming positions in LNG procurement (strategy, project development, and contracting), business development (infrastructure development), the New York Representative Office (liaison and research), and the Sodegaura LNG receiving terminal (LNG receiving, storing and sending-out operation management).
Chikako IshiguroSenior Analyst - Energy Resources & International Business UnitOsaka Gas
Senior Analyst - Energy Resources & International Business Unit
An Electronics Engineer with a Masters in Marketing, he has over 20 years of experience in trading & marketing of energy commodities. He started his career in energy commodity trading with Crude Oil and Petroleum Products and further moved to LNG trading. He has worked with reputed multinational companies in the Oil & Gas sector and has an extensive track record in Crude Oil/LNG trading and has also worked on LNG terminal market development assignments. Since 2014 Manish heads the Origination, Trading and Marketing department at H-Energy which is responsible for LNG sourcing, downstream gas marketing, LNG shipping and commercial operations. He is additionally responsible for LNG chartering and corporate communication in the company.
Richard Nelson is a partner in our Projects and Energy practice, based in the firm's Singapore office. Based in Singapore for over a decade, Richard regularly advises international oil and gas companies, host governments, project developers and sponsors in jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region. With extensive experience in the Asian energy field, Richard works with clients on energy-related transactions and projects, particularly in the upstream oil and gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and power sectors. He has counselled clients on large numbers of LNG import projects in the region and beyond.
Richard is currently ranked as a Band 1 Energy & Resources lawyer in Singapore and Asia-Pacific by the leading law directories, including Chambers and Legal 500. He has also been listed by the IFLR 1000 guide as a ‘leading lawyer’ in Energy and Infrastructure, Project Development, Banking, Project Finance and M&A. Chambers have commented in 2019, Asia Pacific Guide that ‘Richard Nelson is highly reputed for assisting clients with project financings and developments in the oil and gas, LNG and power sectors’ and he ‘continues to uphold his superb reputation for taking on complex, high-value LNG matters. He is especially well-versed in cross-border development and transactions in the space, with a wealth of offshore projects experience.’
Mr. Kuroda spent more than 30 years at Mitsubishi Corporation’s Energy Business Group including assignments in NY, General Manager of Global Gas Unit in Tokyo, and SVP, Energy Business for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and CIS Region in London. He joined BG Group in January 2013 to open its Tokyo Office. He started working for Cheniere Marketing Ltd. in December 2016 being based in Tokyo mainly to support its LNG marketing activities and stakeholder engagements in Japan.
Christopher J. Goncalves, chair and managing director of BRG’s Energy and Climate practice, has thirty years of international experience in the energy and financial industries. He provides energy industry and damages expert services for international energy arbitration and litigation matters for law firms and industry clients. He also advises industry and financial sector clients in the areas of business and commercial strategy, commercial negotiation, economic and market analysis, valuation, regulatory assessments, project development and financing, asset acquisitions and divestitures, climate change, and international carbon markets and pricing.
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