Singapore and Japan have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) to develop a green shipping corridor to six major Japanese ports.

This includes Japan’s largest trading Port of Nagoya, which handles more than 10% of the country’s international trade. The Ports of Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka are also part of the agreement.

The MoC, agreed between Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, aims to grow, decarbonise and digitalise both nations’ maritime industries.

Officials said Singapore and Japan will embark on “pilot projects and trials for alternative marine fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen”.

Singapore eyes APAC green shipping sector

Only China has completed a higher value of transport deals than Japan in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

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Beijing has invested more than $258m across 1,262 transport deals since 2018, compared to Japan’s $209m across 548 deals, according to GlobalData analytics.

Singapore, meanwhile, has invested more than $66m in transport deals since 2018 – a not insignificant amount relatively speaking, considering Japan’s GDP is more than ten times larger than Singapore’s.

Japan is one of Singapore’s top ten trading partners, with the trade volume between the two APAC countries totalling S$65bn ($49bn) in 2022.

The announcement of the Singapore-Japan Green and Digital Shipping Corridor came during a visit to Tokyo by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

It also marks the next step in Singapore’s focus on green shipping.

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) signed a similar deal of intent with China’s Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission.

In November, Malaysia-headquartered Yinson GreenTech launched Singapore’s first-ever electric cargo vessel. The so-called ‘Hydromover’ will be used as a lab by the Singapore Institute of Technology – and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine.

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