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Japan and EU Enhance Hydrogen Technology Cooperation at High-Level Forum

In a significant step towards advancing hydrogen technology and business collaboration, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ken Saito, and European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, convened a High-Level Hydrogen Business Forum on June 3, 2024. This forum aimed to deepen the partnership established under the EU-Japan Memorandum of Cooperation on Hydrogen, signed in December 2022, and the directives of the Japan-EU Summit Meeting held in July 2023.

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) reflects the Green Alliance agreed upon by Japan and the EU in May 2021, which seeks to foster cooperation in achieving carbon neutrality. In light of the systemic vulnerabilities due to economic dependencies on specific supply sources, both parties emphasized the importance of a level playing field through coordinated efforts, as discussed during the 5th Japan-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue on May 2, 2024.

Key Agreements and Discussions:

  1. Economic Dependencies and Market Distortions: Minister Saito and Commissioner Simson shared concerns about economic dependence on strategic goods and the market-distorting practices that accompany it. They underscored the need to address these vulnerabilities and promote fair competition through coordinated policies.

  2. Clean Energy Sector Cooperation: The forum highlighted the importance of cooperation in clean energy sectors, specifically in wind, solar, and hydrogen. Both parties agreed to focus on transparency, diversity, safety, sustainability, and reliability in their evaluations.

  3. Strengthening Supply Chains: Both leaders stressed the importance of building resilient and sustainable supply chains with like-minded partners. They announced the establishment of a working group on Japan-EU Clean Energy Industrial Policy Coordination to further these efforts.

  4. Investment and Deployment of Hydrogen Technologies: The forum underscored their shared interest in supporting the investment and deployment of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen. Discussions included industrial cooperation, finance, supporting measures, and research and development. The outcomes will be reported to Japanese and EU leaders before the next Japan-EU Summit.

  5. Business Cooperation and Agreements: The forum facilitated business presentations and matching opportunities, resulting in several cooperation agreements aimed at promoting collaboration in the hydrogen sector:

  • Japan Hydrogen Association (JH2A) and Hydrogen Europe

  • New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (CHJU)

  • Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) and H2GLOBAL

  • Kawasaki Heavy Industry and Daimler Additionally, the High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan (KHK) and Joint Research Center (JRC) expressed their intent to deepen cooperation in hydrogen safety.

  • Future Steps: Both parties committed to formulating a joint working plan to continue enhancing cooperation in the hydrogen field. This includes exchanging information on the Hydrogen Society Promotion Act in Japan and the European Hydrogen Bank, as well as standardization efforts and regulatory requirements for international hydrogen trade.

Minister Saito and Commissioner Simson concluded the forum by reaffirming their commitment to building a resilient and sustainable hydrogen economy, aiming to make significant strides towards carbon neutrality and energy security.


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