The Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership (JUSEP) has been promoting universal access to affordable and reliable energy in the Indo-Pacific region and sub-Saharan Africa since it was first announced in November 2017. Throughout our senior bilateral economic dialogues, the concept of collaboration and engaged coordination as laid out under JUSEP and other economic coordination mechanisms has become a critical part of our global partnership in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), which intends to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.
JUSEP’s principles and focus areas reflect those of Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (Asia EDGE) and Japan’s corresponding initiatives and it has evolved into the principal bilateral interagency platform intended to identify and align U.S. and Japanese resources for use in advancing our regional energy security objectives across the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
As noted in the Japan-U.S. Joint Statement on Advancing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Through Energy, Infrastructure and Digital Connectivity Cooperation issued on November 13, 2018 by Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence, Japan expressed its intention to facilitate high-standard investment in projects to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) or build LNG infrastructure by aligning the Japanese government’s target of $10 billion in public and private finance and capacity building training with the U.S. Asia EDGE initiative.
Noting the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment endorsed in June 2019, both sides reiterated their commitment to work together to promote international standards for quality infrastructure in international fora. The fifth JUSEP meeting held in Bangkok, August 20-21 2019, was the first to feature industry representatives from the United States, Japan, and a third country. The meeting showed the importance of partnering more closely with ASEAN and other countries in the region, as well as strengthening our engagement with the private sector.
The United States and Japan intend to continue to seek opportunities to engage third country governments and industry to enhance energy access and to support energy-related trade and investment in the region. On the margins of TICAD7 in August 2019, the United States and Japan also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to expand Japan-U.S. energy cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa to advance efforts under the Power Africa 2.0 strategy with the support of GOJ by focusing on distribution and transmission. The MOC will leverage collective energy investments in clean energy solutions, geothermal, energy efficiency, and support cross-border energy trade and regional power pools.
Japan announced in September 2019 that it intends to increase its public and private finance by another $10 billion and enhance capacity building trainings, which we believe will further promote joint and collaborative activities between the United States and Japan by facilitating financing for projects to supply LNG or build LNG infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region. This Japanese public finance facility includes support from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).
There are also available public finance options from the U.S., namely from the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). These activities and programs by the various U.S. and Japanese agencies comprise JUSEP’s whole-of-government approach. In addition, EXIM and NEXI intend to sign a reinsurance and co-financing agreement that will significantly enhance the opportunities for joint U.S.-Japan financing and cooperation.
Also, in August 2019, the U.S. and Japan announced the Japan-U.S. Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP), to which the United States committed an initial $29.5 million under Asia EDGE to promote economic growth and enhanced electricity interconnections among the Mekong countries through free, open, stable and rules-based regional electricity markets.
Through our renewed commitment to promoting open and competitive energy markets, fostering business-to-business connections, and achieving regional energy sector integration, JUSEP is at the core of our joint efforts to achieve FOIP.