Ambassador Tomita's visit to LA (exchange of opinions with port of LA and Japanese hydrogen-related companies)

From June 16th to 18th, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States TOMIA Koji visited southern California, and gave a keynote speech at the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Okinawa Reversion Agreement at the Nixon Library. Moreover, he exchanged views with members of the Pacific Council, as well as visited Little Tokyo (Japanese American National Museum, Go for Broke Memorial, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and Terasaki Budokan), Japan House, and Nishiyamato Gakuen.
<For details, please refer to the link below; Embassy of Japan in the United States Facebook>

On this occasion, Ambassador Tomita also visited the Port of Los Angeles with Consul General Muto, and exchanged opinions with Japanese companies with strong hydrogen technologies – a new energy sector which has been getting much attention in southern California recently, and he observed the efforts of Japanese companies in this area. The outline of his visit is as follows.

At the Port of LA, he enjoyed a courtesy call with the Executive Director of the Port Eugene D. Seroka, and received an explanation about the current situation of the Port of LA, which has experienced the largest container volumes in history in recent months. The Executive Director Seroka also explained that the City of Los Angeles’ policy in the clean energy field is targeting 80% renewable energy use by 2030, and 100% decarbonization by 2035; and the Port of Los Angeles authority is targeting zero emission port machinery by 2030, trucks by 2035, and  Ambassador Tomita listened that with a great interest.

Ambassador Tomita, Port Executive Director Seroka and Consul General Muto were also briefed by Japanese companies on their collaboration on environmental issues at the southern California Ports.
  • Toyota Motor: Jointly developed heavy-duty commercial trucks equipped with hydrogen fuel cells for the Port of Los Angeles, and delivered the trucks to the port.
  • Toyota Tsusho Co., Ltd .: A NEDO research project was adopted, with a feasibility study on conversion of port equipment to hydrogen fuel cell power sources, with local hydrogen production and consumption model slated to be  conducted by March of 2022.
  • Choshu Industry Co., Ltd.: Considering the supply of fuel cells as power source for exhaust gas treatment machinery at the port.
  • Mitsui E & S Co., Ltd. (Paceco Corp.): Studying the introduction of fuel cell powered gantry cranes at the Port of Los Angeles.
In concluding their exchange of views, Port Executive Director Seroka indicated that the federal government could support the dissemination of the advanced efforts of the Port of LA, including in the area of hydrogen, to the United States, and Ambassador Tomita expressed his intention to cooperate on the same.

After exchanging opinions with companies, they visited port machinery, etc. to survey the potential of a hydrogen value chain, visited hydrogen filling stations, and Toyota R&D for a briefing on development of hydrogen truck technology, observe demonstrations, and test drive hydrogen trucks.
The Port is expected to continue to invest in environmental technology and encourage efforts by Japanese companies, such as concluding an MOU with their sister-port of Nagoya, for cooperation on projects including Japanese firms such as the digitization of cargo flows data in and out of the ports.  These are groundbreaking projects on hydrogen-related technology centered on ports, and are model cases for Japan-US cooperation in the field of clean energy.
Commemorative photo after exchanging opinions with Japanese companies at LA port Ambassador Tomita's hydrogen truck test drive
Ambassador Tomita's visit to LA port