ATMO Japan 2019: Live coverage highlights

Date: 12 February 2019
ATMO Japan 2019: Live coverage highlights
The 3rd annual ATMOsphere Japan conference continues the growing discussion on opportunities for natural refrigerants in Japan, bringing together government representatives, end users, domestic and foreign manufacturers, and other experts.


The first speaker, Yasuhiro Baba, from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, explains the impact of HFC phase-down on Japan: “The reduction by 2029 will be difficult, so METI is working especially in the commercial air conditioning area.

“In 2030 we’d like to increase our HFC recovery rate to 70%.

Putting this in place will require more involvement from end users: “The user is obliged to recover the Freon, so we need to communicate this to the end user. We will introduce a direct penalty. That’s led by local government.

“Through the strengthening of this HFC recovery law, indirectly, the conversion to natural refrigerants should be accelerated.” — Yasuhiro Baba, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan.

Hideyuki Naoi, deputy director of the f-gas management office, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is commenting: “HCFC will be abolished completely by 2019 in Japan.

“In Japan we have the ozone layer protection law which controls f-gases.

“After 2029 the Freon regulations will become stricter. In order to achieve this target, we have to further promote the development of green refrigerants and the designated products.

“METI will directly provide a subsidy to the private sector so they will be able to engage more intensively in the development of green refrigerant technology.” — Hideyuki Naoi, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Marek Zgliczynski, speaking on behalf of the IEC SC61C subcommittee, outlined the current status of the expected new IEC limit for flammable refrigerants, which is currently in the final stages of approval. Also commenting: “Standards without enforcement of authorities is just a standard. It is not mandatory. It is only mandatory until the governments say this is what you have to use for your product development.

“The contribution of Japanese colleagues is very important as experts in the working group.

“This final vote [for the IEC standard] will happen probably around April this year because we are completing the editing of the new standard. If positive, we expect to have the standard published in the middle of this year.” — Marek Zgliczynski.


shecco Group CEO Marc Chasserot discussed the challenges and opportunities for natural refrigerants in the Japanese HVAC&R market in an on-stage discussion with Shigeru Dohno, managing director (food retail equipment business division), Panasonic Appliances Company and Ichiji Ishizu, executive managing director, Mayekawa.

“We have been able to introduce 10 thousand CO2 products cumulatively since 2010.“ — Shigeru Dohno, Panasonic Appliances Company

“At a certain degree we have to be selective, of course NatRefs are the way forward.” — Ichiji Ishizu, Mayekawa

On other technology options, Mayekawa also commented: “Ammonia refrigeration is low-price and very safe. I think that’s one of the reasons why it has penetrated so much.

Did subsidies [from the Japanese government] help your business?

“Subsidies are important but for us, but there are also many companies who want to buy our natural refrigerant products because they are energy efficient.” — Ichiji Ishizu, Mayekawa

“After the end of the subsidy period in Japan, it important that f-gas regulations become more strict.” — Shigeru Dohno, managing director (food retail equipment business division), Panasonic Appliances Company

How is your experience so far with natural refrigerations outside Japan? Panasonic confirms that in Europe natural refrigerants are dramatically expanding.

Mayekawa also mentioned that Korea and China offer great opportunties: “When we do business R404A is the battle. But ammonia and CO2 are gradually being adopted.

Shigeru Dohno from Panasonic further commented: “For our company, the most exciting opportunity is in China, where we have several facilities which are introducing CO2 rack systems to the commercial food retail sector.

To round up the discussion, Chasserot from shecco said: “If the legislation here is ambitious, it will create opportunities for Japanese companies internationally to help you compete.


The Accelerate Japan awards are being held for the first time in Japan this year! The awards aim to recognise the thought leaders of commercial and industrial refrigeration that are doing the most with natural refrigerant solutions in Japan.

Here are the results.

  • Best in Sector: Food Retail End User — Lawson
  • Best in Sector: Light Commercial End User — Coca Cola
  • Best in Sector: Industrial End User — Ajinomoto
  • Innovation of the Year — Mayekawa

Find out more on our website about: HVAC, refrigeration, air conditioning, industrial refrigeration, R404A, ammonia, CO2

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