• JIJI, Kyodo

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Japan and China held a public-private forum meeting Sunday on energy saving and the environment, confirming cooperation in many projects.

The Tokyo meeting brought together 800 officials from Japanese and Chinese government bodies, and companies including Panasonic Corp. as well as other organizations.

Participants discussed technological and other problems that must be resolved to expand the use of electric vehicles, hydrogen utilization as an energy source and the promotion of recycling.

Local governments and private entities of the two countries concluded 26 memorandums of cooperation.

“Expectations are high that Japan and China will tackle global issues,” Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi warned that 90 percent of all beaches around the world will be lost by 2100 if global warming problems are not tackled.

China will take tax and fiscal measures to boost the development of green industries, Chinese National Development and Reform Commission deputy head Zhang Yong said, stressing eagerness to advance his country’s Belt and Road initiative.

Among the participating organizations, Marubeni Corp. and a Chinese chemical maker agreed to start experiments on hydrogen utilization.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Bank will set up frameworks of information exchanges with their respective Chinese partners.

The forum started in 2006. It has been held every year since then except in 2013 after the Japanese government purchased three of the five main islands in the uninhabited Senkakus from their private owner in September 2012.

Tokyo and Beijing increasingly regard stronger cooperation in energy saving as a key issue ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan next spring.

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