Japan, U.S. Move Toward Cooperation On Fuel Cells

By Agence France-Presse Japan and the United States on Jan.8 agreed in principle to cooperate in developing hydrogen-based fuel cells, a clean, long-life source of energy particularly for cars, officials said. Japan, seen as a leader in the field, has also been negotiating a similar government-level arrangement with the European Union, focusing on unified standards and possible joint research and development. Visiting U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Goji Sakamoto, the senior Japanese vice minister of economy, trade and industry, signed a joint statement of intent on bilateral cooperation on hydrogen and fuel cells. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Japanese ministry will consider signing a "written arrangement for R and D cooperation in fuel cell technology and hydrogen production, storage and infrastructure technologies," the statement said. The statement also committed the two governments to take part in workshops and seminars and exchange experts and information on these technologies. They will deal with policies, including "common codes, standards and regulations and requirements to develop hydrogen fueling infrastructure," it added. "The United States and Japan both recognize the contribution research and development can make to the development of a hydrogen economy and to cost-effective technologies to meet future global energy needs," Abraham said in a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. U.S. President George W. Bush announced in his budget address in February of last year he would spend more than $1.7 billion on developing hydrogen as a power source over five years. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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