Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

On June 12, 2023, the Mansfield Foundation hosted an event featuring Ms. Mika Takagi, the Director General of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)’s Washington D.C. Office. The discussion shed light on the role and activities of NEDO, which is one of the largest Japanese governmental funding agencies.

Ms. Takagi commenced the discussion by providing an overview of NEDO’s role as a funding agency supporting a wide range of initiatives, spanning from semiconductor development to clean energy technology. Her talk delved into NEDO’s project management approach, characterized by a mid to long-term time frame, ensuring sustained efforts in driving innovation. Ms. Takagi highlighted NEDO’s commitment to fostering cross-industrial cooperation and international collaboration with partners such as the EU, US, and Southeast Asia, exemplifying the agency’s vision to drive technological advancements and facilitate global progress in key sectors.

Ms. Takagi provided a detailed explanation of Japan’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and NEDO’s pivotal role in supporting this objective. She emphasized the identification of 14 growth sectors, spanning industries like offshore wind power, nuclear power, hydrogen, and semiconductors. To fund these crucial energy initiatives, Ms. Takagi highlighted NEDO’s Green Innovation Fund, which operates on the principles of long-term and flexible support in alignment with Japan’s Green Growth Strategy. It was exemplified that stringent mechanisms are in place to ensure that companies receiving funding adhere to the agency’s prescribed standards. Furthermore, Ms. Takagi explained NEDO’s extensive research on hydrogen supply chains, aimed at determining future hydrogen production sources and assessing the projected requirements of importing countries like Japan. To round out the discussion, she emphasized that further collaboration with the U.S. on investment in diversified supply chains and clean energy technology is an extraordinary opportunity.

During the Q&A session, the audience raised various topics related to NEDO’s work. Discussions centered on Japan’s continued use of coal with strategies for emission reduction, the country’s position on nuclear energy following the Fukushima incident, and its aspirations to expand renewable energy use. The conversation also delved into NEDO’s investment in green hydrogen R&D, inter-agency collaborations for long-term planning, and their outreach in Southeast Asia.