Abe seals agreement with Brunei to strengthen energy cooperation

Kyodo

Visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei agreed Wednesday to strengthen energy cooperation between their two countries, including exports of liquefied natural gas to Japan and the development of renewable energy, Japanese officials said.

With Brunei seeking to wean itself from its over-dependence on oil and gas production, Abe expressed Japan’s readiness at their summit to help the Southeast Asian country diversify its industry by providing technological cooperation in the areas of renewable energy and energy conservation.

In response to Abe’s request for Brunei’s continuing LNG exports, Bolkiah said he hoped to continue strengthening economic ties with Japan, including in the energy area, according to the officials.

The summit between Abe and Bolkiah was held on the sidelines of a series of ASEAN-related summits held in the tiny sultanate on the northern coast of Borneo between Wednesday and Thursday.

On the territorial disputes in the South China Sea that China has had with Brunei and some other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Abe said, “All the countries concerned should observe related international law and refrain from unilateral action,” apparently in reference to China’s growing assertiveness.

Abe and Bolkiah confirmed continuing cooperation on regional peace and stability.

They agreed to closely cooperate on a special summit between Japanese and ASEAN leaders to be held in Tokyo in mid-December.