Saudi government affirms hydrogen partnership with Tokyo

Saudi Arabia has affirmed its commitment to cooperate with Japan on clean hydrogen, ammonia and recycled carbon fuels.

The Saudi energy ministry said it signed agreements with the Japanese industry and trade ministry to develop clean hydrogen, production of ammonia and its derivatives and recycled carbon fuels.

The affirmation came as the Kingdom said it remains committed to securing oil supplies for Japan.

Saudi Arabia will keep supplying Saudi crude oil for Okinawa’s government oil reserves in southern Japan, according to  statement from the energy ministry, quoting Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

“We continue to guarantee oil supply to Japan and maintain our position as the most reliable partner,” Prince Abdulaziz said. “Saudi is Japan’s biggest oil exporter fulfilling 40% of its total needs.”

The energy minister’s comments came after Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held meetings with Saudi leaders in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah over the weekend, where he arrived as part of a Middle East tour. 

Kishida is also expected to visit the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also announced the resumption of talks on a free trade agreement, according to a statement issued on Sunday by the council, a union of six countries in the Gulf region including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain.

A senior official at Japan’s foreign ministry said this week that Kishida plans to discuss energy markets during his trip, while also aiming to offer Japanese technologies for net zero transition.