¥150 Billion Fund Eyed to Support Hydrogen Projects; Japan Government to Announce Plan at IPEF Meeting

Reuters file photo
U.S. President Joe Biden listens to other leaders joining the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) launch event virtually, at Izumi Garden Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2022.

The Japanese government was expected to announce at a ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in Singapore on Thursday that it will help raise money to support hydrogen-related projects in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

It will do so by acting as an intermediary so that money from domestic funds can be used to finance such projects.

The public-private partnership called the Japan Hydrogen Association and the Advantage Partners Inc. investment fund are expected to create a ¥150 billion fund by the end of this year. This money will be made available within the IPEF region.

The Japanese government aims to stimulate private-sector investment by using the money as a springboard for projects such as power generation using hydrogen, development of liquefaction technology for fuel, and construction of transportation facilities.

Hydrogen does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, and is expected to be used as an alternative fuel for thermal power generation and as a material for city gas synthesized with CO2. Japan is dependent on imports for hydrogen, and strengthening the supply network is a key issue, along with technological development.

The IPEF is a new economic initiative being led by the United States over which negotiations began in September 2022, with 14 countries participating, including Japan, the United States, South Korea, Australia, India, Thailand and Indonesia.

Participants at Thursday’s meeting are expected to sign and formally conclude an agreement on a “clean economy,” including decarbonization, and a “fair economy,” including efforts to strengthen the rule of law through anti-corruption measures. These matters were effectively agreed upon in November 2023.

Negotiations regarding trade are still ongoing due to differences of opinion. It is expected to take time to reach an agreement.

Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Ken Saito was to attend the meeting.