Industry minister Koichi Hagiuda on Monday pressed his Indonesian counterpart to lift that country's one-month ban on coal exports, imposed Jan. 1 to prioritize fuel supply to its domestic coal-fired power plants, people familiar with their talks said.

Amid growing concerns about potential shortages in Japan and other countries that rely on Indonesian coal, energy minister Arifin Tasrif held out hope that the exports could soon be resumed. "We hope that in the next few days, we can get clarity," he was quoted as saying during their meeting.

Hagiuda asked that Indonesia understand the need to resolve the issue, saying Japanese companies have been bewildered by the ban. He also referred to a letter sent by the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta to the Indonesian government calling for the ban to be scrapped.