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US pledges to supply bioethanol to Japan lagging behind green fuel

TOKYO (UKTN) – US officials are touting bioethanol in Japan, which is chasing other countries in using the green fuel made from corn and other crops.

The US is a top grower of corn and an embassy official said the US would be a “trusted supplier” of bioethanol.

“U.S. ethanol is a powerful tool for Japan to tackle climate change, support consumers facing high prices and strengthen energy security,” said Aaron Forsberg, Commerce Secretary at the U.S. Embassy, ​​at a conference center in Tokyo. .

The US-Japan biofuel partnership is part of a larger partnership between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on defense, technology and climate change.

A workshop Wednesday in Tokyo gave the Japanese government, academics and industry representatives an opportunity to learn more about bioethanol from US experts.

Bioethanol can be a fuel for vehicles and aircraft and offers a cleaner alternative to petroleum.

Compared to countries such as the US and Brazil, where a lot of bioethanol is used, Japan is catching up. The need for alternative fuels has increased due to the war in Ukraine and concerns about rising oil prices and climate change.

Japan imports almost all of its oil, as well as its bioethanol. Japan has denounced the Russian invasion of Ukraine but has not yet stopped its Russian oil imports as it has promised.

“Japan has set an important goal to be carbon neutral by 2050,” Yuki Sadamitsu, director-general of the Natural Resources and Fuel Division of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told the workshop.

Boosting the use of bioethanol will be crucial to achieving that goal, Sadamitsu added.

Forsberg noted that Japan was one of the lowest in the world when it comes to blending ethanol with gasoline at about 1.7%, and urged Japan to increase that to 3%, noting that there was “enough room to grow”.

The US can show how to make the blend while maintaining vehicle compatibility and discuss costs and benefits as well as a steady supply, he said.

“As Japan updates its transport biofuels policy for the coming years, we look forward to sharing our experience in expanding the use of biofuels,” said Forsberg.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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