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U.S. Secretary of Energy Participates in Five-Country Energy Ministerial in Japan

June 7, 2008 - 12:51pm

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Signs Methane Hydrates Agreement

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and top government officials from China, India, Japan, and Korea participated in discussions related to energy security challenges, emergency preparedness, investment climate, energy efficiency and diversification at the Five-Country Energy Ministerial held in Aomori, Japan.  Secretary Bodman led a session on global investment regimes, where he highlighted the importance of open, transparent investment climates and predictable legal and regulatory systems to encourage investment in the next-generation of energy technologies that can help address growing energy demand and global climate change.  A joint statement of the Five-Country Energy Ministerial was issued following the meeting.

"As major energy consuming countries, which together account for nearly half the world's population, we share common interest and agreed to foster further cooperation among our countries aimed at ensuring the stability of the international oil markets and enhancing global energy security," Secretary Bodman said.  "All of us-every nation represented at this meeting-has a responsibility to promote aggressive investment in renewable and other alternative energy technologies as well as the development of traditional hydrocarbon resources."

Earlier today, Secretary Bodman and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) providing a framework for a joint scientific relationship between Japan and the U.S. to enhance and accelerate the research and development of methane hydrates in the Arctic and along the continental margin of Japan and the U.S.  The SOI supports the ongoing work of the U.S. to expand and diversify energy supplies, and shift toward sources and methods of production and delivery that are more efficient, sustainable, and secure.

Also today, Minister Amari and Secretary Bodman issued a joint statement on the progress of U.S.-Japan cooperation on the advancement of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  The statement confirms the two leaders' commitment to promoting bilateral nuclear energy cooperation in line with the United States-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan, which they signed in April 2007 together with Bunmei Ibuki, the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Taro Aso, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Tomorrow, Secretary Bodman will participate in the G8+3 Energy Ministerial in Aomori, Japan, where he will meet with ministers and other high-level government officials from G8 countries, China, India and Korea to discuss a wide range of global energy security issues.

Methane hydrate is a natural gas found in ice crystals trapped beneath the earth's surface with the potential to have as much energy as all of the world's other fossil fuels combined.  DOE manages the National Methane Hydrate R&D Program, which was established by the Methane Hydrate R&D Act in 2000, to further develop large-scale methane production so that it can be used in the market to help address growing energy demands, moderate price increases, and ensure an adequate supply of natural gas for American consumers.  Learn more about Methane Hydrates.

Media contact(s):

Bethany Shively, (202) 586-4940

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