Tokyo, April 20 (QNA) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to
ask U.S. President Barack Obama during their summit in Tokyo to boost
U.S. shale gas exports to Japan, a government source said Sunday.
Japan views the new and abundant source of natural gas as an
important way to cut down on energy costs that have only climbed
since the loss of all atomic power following the Fukushima disaster
spurred a return to thermal power generation, according to the
Abe hopes to confirm with Obama during Thursday’s summit not only
the importance of the U.S.-Japan security alliance, but also the
importance of cooperating in the areas of energy and economics,
according to the source.
Abe is also expected to propose stepping up cooperation on promoting
clean energy, such as solar and wind power.
Substantial imports of low-priced shale gas would lower Japan’s
trade deficit and put it in a better position in price negotiations
for gas imports from the Middle East.
During a recent ministerial meeting aimed at promoting Japanese
infrastructure exports, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said
that Japan-U.S. relations remain extremely important in securing
energy resources amid the development of shale gas production.
In February 2013, Abe asked for early U.S. approval of shale gas
exports to Japan when he met with Obama during his first visit to the
United States since becoming prime minister again.
The United States has decided to export liquefied natural gas to
countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United
States, paving the way for shale gas exports to Japan as early as
Obama is scheduled to visit Japan for three days from Wednesday.