Australia pledged stable and reliable energy exports to Japan during a bilateral meeting in Melbourne amid concern that stricter emissions targets will impose higher costs for fossil fuel projects.

Australia recently imposed tougher pollution controls, put a cap on some fuel prices and has considered limiting exports to prioritize domestic demand. Japan and other energy buyers have raised concerns those policies have the potential to disrupt the country’s gas exports.

Canberra sent Trade Minister Don Farrell, Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Resources Minister Madeleine King to meet with Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura in Melbourne for the fifth Australia-Japan Ministerial Economic Dialogue on Sunday.

"Australia is committed to being a reliable and stable energy supplier to our region, but more particularly to Japan,” Farrell said during his opening remarks. "We will discuss our common objectives in managing our economic and energy security interests and in developing new opportunities in that energy transition, for which there are very many.”

Nishimura is seeking assurances over the stability of Australia’s investment environment, the Australian Financial Review reported, citing a written response to questions from the Japanese minister. Japan is heavily reliant on Australian gas exports.

Australia’s Labor government has worked to strengthen its policies to tackle climate change, including mandating emissions cuts of 43% from 2005 levels by 2030. In March, the government passed its signature safeguard mechanism legislation, which will enforce Australia’s largest polluters, including its giant liquefied natural gas plants, to cut their emissions over time.