• Kyodo


The government said Friday it is highly likely that deposits of methane hydrate, a next-generation energy source, exist in the seabed of the Sea of Japan off the northern and western parts of the country.

The government’s survey from April found geological structures suggesting possible reserves of methane hydrate on some areas of seabed off Yamagata and Akita prefectures, as well as near the Oki Islands of Shimane, industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference.

The government will begin on Tuesday taking samples of geological layers in the seabed off Yamagata and Akita, in addition to the seabed off Niigata Prefecture, where potential methane hydrate reserves were found last fiscal year.

Methane hydrate — an ice-like substance that consists of methane gas and water — is believed to exist in wide areas of seabed around the country.