Scholz wraps up Japan visit with hydrogen plant tour

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Scholz wraps up Japan visit with hydrogen plant tour

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ended a brief visit to Japan on Friday with a tour of a hydrogen plant in the capital Tokyo, reported dpa.

Finding new sources of energy has become a priority for Berlin as it tries to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels due to the war in Ukraine.

The Chiyoda Corporation has developed a process in which hydrogen is combined with a solvent to allow it to be transported in conventional containers and cargo ships.

On Thursday, Scholz met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and agreed on closer cooperation between the two countries.

"My trip is also a clear political signal that Germany and the European Union want to continue and intensify their engagement in the Indo-Pacific region," Scholz said.

Scholz spent roughly 20 hours in Tokyo on his first visit to the region since taking office.

It was unusual for Scholz to choose Japan; his predecessors Angela Merkel and Gerhard Schröder went first to China, which is both the larger economy and a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

However, Scholz said it was "no coincidence" that he visited Japan first.

Japan is one of only three Asian countries to impose sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, alongside South Korea and Singapore.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday praised Scholz for his government's decision to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine.

Japan is a member of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized democracies. Germany is chairing the G7 this year and will host the G7 summit in July in Bavaria. Japan will take over the chair in 2023.

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