The UAE and Japan are exploring ways to strengthen economic, energy and industrial co-operation in a bid to drive low-carbon growth opportunities, including studying the development of a hydrogen supply chain between the two countries.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) managing director and group chief executive met senior Japanese government and business leaders during a three-day working visit to the country.
Dr Al Jaber met leading officials including Hagiuda Koichi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Minister of Environment; and Odawara Kiyoshi, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, the state-run Wam news agency reported on Tuesday.
Discussions focused on economic and industrial development, energy supply, hydrogen and climate action.
Dr Al Jaber reviewed continuing joint initiatives between the UAE and Japan in hydrogen and low-carbon blue ammonia and highlighted the two countries' aim to use new commercially feasible technology to reduce carbon emissions.
"We are keen to bolster bilateral ties and further strengthen our relationship across multiple sectors, through public and private partnerships that will deliver mutually beneficial growth opportunities and create increased prosperity for both our peoples," Dr Al Jaber said.
"The UAE is keen to leverage every facet of our relationship, including climate diplomacy to drive economic development, enable low-carbon growth and enhance energy security.
"The UAE-Japan relationship is underpinned by long-standing energy partnerships, and we are very pleased to be working closely with Japan to capitalise on the economic opportunities of the energy transition, strengthen industrial co-operation and expand economic and trade relations."
In 2021, the UAE was Japan’s 10th largest trading partner. Bilateral trade between both countries exceeded $30 billion in 2021, with UAE exports to Japan rising to $26bn and imports from Japan increasing to $6.2bn. More than 340 Japanese companies are based in the UAE, working in various sectors including infrastructure, industry and energy.
During the visit, Adnoc, Eneos Corporation and Mitsui agreed to explore establishing a hydrogen supply chain between the UAE and Japan.
The companies will evaluate the potential to convert hydrogen as a by-product from Adnoc's refining and petrochemical operations and blue hydrogen produced from natural gas to methylcyclohexane (MCH), an efficient form of hydrogen transport, for export to Japan.
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) also signed an initial pact with Sumitomo Corporation to develop waste-to-energy projects. The two companies aim to co-operate on a range of projects, including a plant to treat 390,000 tonnes of waste and generate 25 megawatts of energy annually.
The meetings also focused on the UAE's preparations to host Cop28 in 2023 and new opportunities for strategic co-operation between the UAE and Japan, world's third-largest economy.
Dr Al Jaber reiterated the UAE’s commitment to Japan’s energy security and said the UAE would continue to ensure reliable supplies of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan. The UAE is Japan’s top crude oil supplier, providing more than 20 per cent of its requirement.