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Japan-U.S.-EU's ‘hydrogen economy coalition’ excludes Korea

Japan-U.S.-EU's ‘hydrogen economy coalition’ excludes Korea

Posted June. 17, 2019 07:51,   

Updated June. 17, 2019 07:51


Japan’s move to form an alliance with the U.S. and the European Union, while excluding Korea, to secure leadership in the hydrogen economy, has become a reality.

According to Japan’s NHK on Saturday, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the European Commission’s energy bureau held an extra meeting at the G20 Energy and Environment Ministerial Meeting in Karuizawa in Japan’s Nagano prefecture on the day, and made a joint statement on the development of hydrogen energy technology.

The participants at the extra meeting have a plan to set international standards including the standard of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles, and safety standard of hydrogen refueling stations, among others. “It is hoped that Japan, the U.S. and the EU, which are ahead of others in the hydrogen and fuel cell field, strengthen cooperation to continue to lead the world,” Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said.

Hyundai Motor succeeded in mass production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the first time in the world as early as 2013, but the Korean government only announced a roadmap to hydrogen economy as recently as January this year. While Japan has started efforts to keep Korea at bay through the joint statement spearheaded by Tokyo, the Korean government is also seeking agreements on cooperation in hydrogen economy with countries from across the world. Against this backdrop, pundits say that competition between Korea and Japan will further intensify going forward.

Do-Hyong Kim dodo@donga.com