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The EU-Japan Centre is pleased to start a new weekly service by publishing brief summary of the latest information from the Japanese governmental organizations & private companies/organizations. A couple of minutes reading to be informed about what is happening in Japan's policy, economy, EU-Japan relations, and innovation.

*Information is deemed correct at the time of release. 

Sojitz, Sembcorp and Kyushu Electric Sign Term Sheet to Supply Green Ammonia from India to Japan
Sojitz Corporation ("Sojitz"), Kyushu Electric Power Co. ("Kyushu Electric"), and Sembcorp Green Hydrogen Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries ("Sembcorp"), leading energy provider in Asia, have signed a term sheet on June 6, 2024, for the supply of green ammonia* produced in India to Japanese off-taker. Each company intends to develop the term sheet into a legally binding document at a later stage. As the global trend toward carbon neutrality accelerates, there is a greater push to a transition to clean energy. Sojitz began discussions with Sembcorp from 2022 to collaborate on a wide range of infrastructure and new energy business areas focused on decarbonization. Price-competitive green ammonia will be produced in India, which has abundant renewable energy resources and vast land area, by utilizing Sembcorp's knowledge and resources in project development and operation in the country. From 2023, Sojitz and Sembcorp, together with Kyushu Electric, have been engaged in joint planning of a project to produce green ammonia to be supplied to Japanese off-takers.
Sojitz and Kyushu Electric will undertake the 200,000 metric tonnes of green ammonia per year from the latter half of the 2020s for the Japanese market and will supply it to various industrial off-takers mainly in the Kyushu region as part of this term sheet agreement.
Sojitz: https://www.sojitz.com/en/news/article/20240606.html

Olympus to establish R&D base in India Further strengthening innovation creation
Olympus Corporation (hereafter "Olympus") has established an Offshore Development Center (hereafter "ODC") in Hyderabad, Telangana, India, as part of its research and development strategy. This initiative, which marks the beginning of their efforts, is based on a strategic agreement with HCL Technologies (hereafter "HCLTech," headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India), a company that provides IT services globally. Through this collaboration, Olympus aims to promote innovation and further strengthen its R&D framework.
Following the establishment of the ODC, Olympus is preparing to open its own R&D center in Hyderabad within a few years. This center will be Olympus' next R&D hub following those in Japan, the United States, and Europe.
Hyderabad is a major city in India known for its concentration of the medical device industry and a wealth of excellent R&D talent. By setting up an R&D base in this region, Olympus plans to enhance its human resources and capabilities essential for the development of medical technology and to expand its medical business.
Olympus (in Japanese): https://www.olympus.co.jp/news/2024/nr02698.html

Subsidies for Energy-Saving Equipment Updates in Factories: 2024 SHIFT Project Applications Open
On June 7, the Ministry of the Environment began accepting applications for the 2024 fiscal year for the SHIFT Project, a subsidy program supporting decarbonization efforts in factories and business sites. The project consists of three components: "Support for CO2 Reduction Plan Formulation," "Support for Updating Low-CO2 Equipment," and "Support for Advanced Corporate Collaboration Models." For large-scale electrification and Scope 3 reduction support, subsidies of up to 500 million yen are available. The support for plan formulation is divided into three categories: "Standard Projects (A)," "Large-Scale Electrification and Fuel Conversion Projects (B)," and "SME Projects (C)." Each category offers tailored support, including assistance in implementing DX systems to develop execution plans based on the measurement results.
The subsidy rate is up to 750,000 yen for standard projects, with the DX-type plans utilizing DX systems for operational improvements capped at 2 million yen. Each applicant can submit up to five factories or business sites for support.
MOEJ (in Japanese): https://shift.env.go.jp/offering/2024

Green Innovation Fund: Decision on Sea Areas and Operators for the Floating Offshore Wind Power Demonstration Project
In order to secure a share in the offshore wind power generation market, which is expected to grow rapidly in the future, it is essential to establish technology for the low-cost mass production of floating offshore wind power equipment.To this end, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and NEDO are implementing the Green Innovation Fund's "Cost Reduction of Offshore Wind Power Generation" project. This project aims to commercialize floating offshore wind power by developing component technologies (Phase 1), targeting four areas such as next-generation wind turbines and floating foundation manufacturing and construction technologies since 2022. In addition to this, they are also carrying out a demonstration project for floating offshore wind power that integrates related component technologies into an overall system (Phase 2). For Phase 2, in October 2023, METI and NEDO selected and announced four candidate areas: (1) off the coast of Hamamasu, Ishikari City, Hokkaido, (2) off the coast of the Iwauchi and Minami-Shiribeshi districts, Hokkaido, (3) off the southern coast of Akita Prefecture, and (4) off the coast of Tahara City and Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture. From February 9 to March 25, 2024, NEDO conducted a public solicitation of operators, intending to select approximately two areas from these four.
METI (in Japanese): 

https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2024/06/20240611007/20240611007.html

Suntory Launches Low Carbon Sugarcane Farming Project in Thailand in Collaboration with VIVE Programme and KTIS
Suntory Holdings has launched a three-year low carbon farming project for sugarcane in Thailand in collaboration with the VIVE Programme, a leading voluntary sustainability program in ingredient and energy supply chains, and Kaset Thai International Sugar Corporation Public Co Ltd (KTIS), one of Thailand's leading producers of sugar.
Sponsored by Suntory Holdings, this pilot program will facilitate the implementation of low carbon farming interventions based on regenerative agricultural practices that have been collaboratively identified by KTIS and VIVE agronomic experts.
This program aims to support KTIS and supplying farms to explore a scalable solution for low carbon production of sugarcane and to ultimately contribute to Suntory Group’s business in developing commercially robust, low carbon commodity supply chains and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to meet its 2030 target of 30% reduction across the whole value chain against a 2019 baseline.
Suntory: https://www.suntory.com/news/article/14610E.html

ITOCHU Announces an Investment in US logistics service provider Gatik, which develops autonomous driving trucks
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU has invested in Gatik AI, Inc. (headquartered in California; Gautam Narang, CEO; hereinafter “Gatik”), a company developing autonomous driving technology for commercial trucks and providing logistics services utilizing its self-driving vehicles in the U.S and Canada.
In addition to the development of autonomous driving software, Gatik has expertise in the overall design, development, testing and evaluation of autonomous vehicles. They have successfully been operating L4 commercial deliveries* on public roads (including highways and regular roads) since 2021. Gatik is the first and only player in North America to provide logistics services using autonomous driving vehicles in the so-called “middle mile logistics segment”, between shipper’s warehouses and between warehouses and retail locations. Gatik is working to resolve the issues whole logistic industry faces by building various required functions within the entire autonomous driving value chain, and at the same time further developing the autonomous driving business utilizing commercial vehicles.
ITOCHU: https://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/press/2024/240611.html

PXP's Flexible Solar Cells Self-Heal Radiation Damage, Maintaining 100% Performance
PXP Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture), a startup challenging the world with next-generation solar cells, announced at the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference that they have developed a self-healing-enhanced chalcopyrite solar cell, which exhibits extremely high resistance to strong radiation environments in space.
It has been reported that chalcopyrite solar cells do not degrade even after being exposed to radiation equivalent to about 100 years in a space environment. This is due to the self-healing function of the solar cells. However, when exposed to large amounts of proton radiation, which causes more damage than electron radiation, the self-healing could not keep up, resulting in degradation.
The self-healing-enhanced chalcopyrite solar cell developed by PXP can utilize its self-healing function through heat and light to recover to 100% performance even after being exposed to proton radiation equivalent to about 100 years in a geostationary orbit environment or about 400 years in a low Earth orbit environment. Additionally, it has been confirmed that the same self-healing effect can be induced at the relatively low temperatures where solar cells are actually operated and under weak light that has passed through the top cell when another solar cell is stacked in tandem.
PXP (in Japanese): https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000008.000131866.html

 

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