A group of Japanese energy firms, including Mitsubishi's wind power unit, JERA and Tokyo Gas, have set up an association to boost the development of floating offshore wind farms and jointly create new technology, they said on Friday.

Japan aims to become a major offshore wind power producer, with the government targeting projects totaling 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and up to 45 GW by 2040 as part of its decarbonization push, for which floating offshore wind is essential.

The group of 14 companies said they have set up the Floating Offshore Wind Technology Research Association to realize commercialization of large-scale floating offshore wind farms in a wide area by jointly developing technology and creating international standards with overseas organizations.

Floating offshore wind power is seen as a way to ensure Japan has a stable and sustainable energy supply and its development will also stimulate the local economy and promote Japanese industries, the group said in a statement.

Other members include Nippon Telegraph and Telephone's energy unit, Tohoku Electric Power, Kansai Electric Power and Marubeni Corp's wind power unit .

The move, first reported by a local media, comes as the Japanese government this week approved a draft amendment to existing legislation to allow for the installation of offshore wind power in exclusive economic zones (EEZ), a milestone toward the country's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

The new legislation would allow wind farms to be installed further out to sea from current territorial and internal waters as EEZs are non-territorial waters where maritime nations claim mineral exploration and fishing rights.