Japan Works Towards Implementing EV Partnership with ASEAN

Japan is working towards the implementation of its e-mobility partnership with ASEAN, an envoy said on Wednesday.

Japan — along with China and South Korea — have agreed to help ASEAN build a regional electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem. ASEAN and Japan have included an EV-related partnership as a possible area of cooperation in their so-called “joint vision statement” that maps out the future direction of their relations. 

Late last year, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi revealed that Japan would provide $1 billion for ASEAN’s regional EV ecosystem. However, not much is known about this funding.

When asked by reporters in Jakarta, Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN Kiya Masahiko did not go into details on this $1 billion funding, only saying that work is underway to implement the EV partnership.

“We are working with ASEAN, as well as individual member states, to implement this [EV] initiative,” Masahiko said. 

Masahiko then brought up the ASEAN-Japan joint vision statement.

According to the implementation plan of this joint vision, both Tokyo and the Southeast Asian bloc are looking to explore partnerships related to the next-generation automotive industry. This includes partnering with the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC), and working towards a diversified portfolio of production and exports of EVs. The AZEC is a platform of Asian countries that focuses on promoting decarbonization.

“This next-generation [automotive industry] is being mentioned in the joint vision statement. So a commitment was made by all the partner parties, including Japan and ASEAN, that this [EV initiative] shall be implemented,” Masahiko said.

ASEAN is seeking to build what it calls a “regional EV ecosystem”. By ecosystem, this means that the region can set the same standards of electrical plugs and other components, thus facilitating the trade of EVs between its members.  

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