Trade Minister Don Farrell wants Japan to look beyond Australian coal and gas to meet its energy needs.
Senator Farrell is using a trip to Tokyo to talk up Australia’s renewable energy plan and encourage investment in clean technologies.
“We want to broaden it out to not just the coal and the gas, but also for the renewable products of the future,” he told ABC radio.
“The first eight hours of energy on any day in Tokyo comes from energy supplied by Australia.
“They want to change to a zero-carbon emission future. We’ve got lots of the products that they’re going to need to make that change.”
The transition to cleaner energy includes hydrogen, with Australia exporting the first shipment to Japan earlier this year.
Critical minerals used to build electric batteries are also up for discussion.
“We have the world’s largest reserves of them but to extract them and get the maximum benefit we’re going to need investment,” Senator Farrell said.
“We’re looking to particularly Japan and to South Korea as a source of that investment.”
Senator Farrell said Australia needed to move away from its reliance on China and produce high quality and reliable supplies of critical minerals.
He said Australia could position itself to take advantage of the United States pushing to import more of its critical minerals from free trade partners.
“There are only three countries that have both the critical minerals and a free trade agreement, and Australia is one of those,” the minister said.
“It’s a game-changer.”
His trip includes meetings with Japan’s trade minister in Tokyo and his South Korean counterpart in Seoul.
While in Japan the minister will also deliver the keynote speech at the Australia-Japan joint business conference to promote Australian tourism.
He will then lead a critical minerals industry roundtable after landing in Seoul on Wednesday as the two nations work to secure commercial supply chains.
(Australian Associated Press)