August 16, 2011

Japan, S.E. Asia to ally in energy


MANADO, Indonesia — Japan and five Mekong River countries confirmed at their economic ministerial meeting Sunday that they will focus on cross-border energy security cooperation in light of power shortages in parts of Southeast Asia.

They will build transnational power transmission networks and a system for mutual supply of electricity in the Mekong region covering Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, Japanese officials said.

Japan proposed studying the actual conditions of electricity supply in the region, which Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda called during the meeting a growth center for the world and Asia with which Tokyo hopes to advance industrial cooperation.

The ministers also agreed to draw up a timetable for major projects in an action plan worked out last year to enhance the region's economic infrastructure by their next annual meeting in order to accelerate progress, the officials said.

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