Japan pledged financial and technological support on Saturday to help ASEAN countries accelerate their efforts to decarbonize their economies and combat climate change.

Energy-poor Japan hopes to become the world's leading hydrogen economy to reduce dependence on traditional polluting fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

As the chair of the Group of Seven nations this year, Japan will hold a ministerial meeting on climate, energy and environment in Sapporo on April 15-16 — ahead of the G7 summit in Hiroshima on May 19-21 — to promote what it calls realistic energy transition.