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  5. Prime Minister Kishida and METI Minister Saito Attend the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Leaders Meeting

Prime Minister Kishida and METI Minister Saito Attend the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Leaders Meeting

December 18, 2023

On the 18th of December 2023, the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Leaders Meeting was held on the occasion of the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio; Mr. Saito Ken, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Mr. Murai Hideki, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Hosaka Yasushi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; and Mr. Asahi Kentaro, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment from Japan, as well as Leaders from AZEC partner countries, participated in the Meeting and held discussions on the concept of AZEC and AZEC activities.

Prime Minister Kishida affirmed the importance of achieving a common goal of “net-zero emissions through various pathways” and of a triple breakthrough of simultaneously achieving “decarbonization, economic growth, and energy security”. Furthermore, he touched on Japan’s actions towards developing and introducing next-generation GX (Green Transformation) technologies and expressed his willingness to share Japan’s technologies and experiences through the AZEC platform. Concretely, he proposed actions such as policy coordination through the “Asia Zero Emission Center” to be set up in ERIA, establishment of green supply chains through cooperation projects including development of zero emission industrial parks, collaboration among business entities by the “AZEC Advocacy Group”, and promotion of transition finance.
Moreover, Minister Saito provided a report on the outcomes of the first AZEC Ministerial Meeting held this March and on the progress of cooperation activities. Minister Saito affirmed that, through AZEC:
  1. Activities that are tailored to the policy needs of Asia, such as formulation of roadmaps, are advancing.
  2. Concrete projects spanning diverse fields are underway, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, hydrogen/ammonia, LNG, e-fuels, CCUS, energy efficiency, and decarbonization of industries. Around 70 MOUs have been signed between companies and a total of around 350 cooperation projects are being carried out.
  3. Human resource development support for around 8500 people has been provided.  
and concluded that significant progress is being made.
The leaders of AZEC partner countries* expressed broad support for the concept of AZEC as well as high expectations for AZEC activities. Dr. Daniel Yergin, who participated as an expert, also highlighted the importance of realistic energy transitions.
In addition, the “AZEC Leaders’ Joint Statement,” which indicates AZEC principles as well as direction of cooperation, was adopted and released. Finally, looking ahead to the next 50 years, Prime Minister Kishida emphasized that together with AZEC partner countries, Japan will continue to contribute to achieving decarbonization in Asia and global sustainable growth through activities under the AZEC platform.
Following the AZEC Leaders’ Meeting, a commemorative photo session on the release of a joint statement regarding support for the AZEC platform and the launch of the “AZEC Advocacy Group” took place between Keidanren, ASEAN Business Advisory Council and ERIA, with the witness of Prime Minister Kishida, H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia and Minister Saito.
*AZEC partner countries (in alphabetical order):
Australia, Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, Japan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

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