US-Japan meetings an opportunity for reassurance on LNG

This week’s meetings between U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida offer an opportunity for productive conversations and reassurance about the future of US LNG exports, the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) said.

ANGEA CEO Paul Everingham said the halt to pending US LNG export approvals announced in January had introduced uncertainty to energy trading relationships that Asian nations rely upon for commercial and economic stability and important, energy security.

Japan, which must import nearly all the energy it requires to support a globally significant economy, is particularly affected.

“Natural gas has an established and critical role in the Japanese economy and the US, as the world’s biggest exporter of LNG, makes a major contribution to ensuring the needs of America’s primary ally in Asia are met,” Mr Everingham said.

“Japan has expressed hope that US LNG will support its energy security for decades to come. That is evidenced by Japanese investment and expressions of interest in planned and future projects that are now subject to the export approvals pause.

“The meetings between President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida are an opportunity for reassurance that the US intends to not only remain a reliable source of LNG for Japan but that it will work to meet growing demand across Asia longer term.”

Japan’s status as a regional leader in Asia’s energy transition adds extra weight to the discussions in Washington DC.

“Japan is very active in supporting other Asian countries, as they look to transform energy systems to achieve decarbonisation targets in a manner supportive of their economic and social aspirations, and in line with the applicability of specific low-carbon energy solutions,” Mr Everingham said.

“For instance, Japanese companies are strongly involved with gas-to-power projects in Vietnam and the Philippines, two fast-growing and emerging Asian economies which are looking to LNG imports to complement increasing investment in renewable energy.

“Countries like these, where energy policy makers must make decisions decades in advance, will be among the most impacted by prolonged uncertainty around US LNG.

“Unfortunately, if LNG becomes unaffordable or unobtainable for Vietnam, the Philippines and other emerging Asian nations, there is a strong likelihood that high-emitting coal will remain a dominant energy source when economic necessities are deemed to outweigh climate targets.”

Media contact
Simon White
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About the Asia Natural Gas & Energy Association (ANGEA)
ANGEA is an industry association representing LNG and natural gas producers, energy buyers, suppliers and companies in APAC. Based in Singapore, it works in partnership with governments and societies across the region to deliver reliable and secure energy solutions that achieve national economic, energy security, social and environmental objectives and meet global climate goals.

Main photo by Photo by Tabrez Syed on Unsplash