Ministers from the Quad group agreed Wednesday at their meeting in Australia to promote transition to clean power generation to enhance their countries' energy security in the future, the Japanese industry minister said in an online press conference, at a time Western countries are trying to cut reliance on Russian fuels.

Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said after the first meeting of energy ministers from the Quad comprising Australia, India, Japan and the United States that the member states aim to advance zero-emission technologies such as the use of hydrogen and ammonia as fuels.

"We agreed that it is essential to secure energy security through the improvement of energy supply chain resilience by accelerating the development and spread of zero-emission technology," Hagiuda said.

The meeting took place after Quad leaders agreed in May in Tokyo to step up cooperation in various fields to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda (far L) and other ministers from the quad group that also includes Australia, India and the United States pose for a commemorative photo in Sydney on July 13, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)(Kyodo)

The Japanese government regards the use of hydrogen and ammonia, which do not emit carbon dioxide when burned, as key to transitioning to zero-emission thermal power, along with other technologies for cutting greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon capture, utilization and storage, as the nation weans itself off fossil fuels.

Japan, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, has been coordinating with the United States and European countries to reduce its energy reliance on Russia, a major energy exporter, following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

On the sidelines of the Quad meeting, Hagiuda also met individually with U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Australian Minister for Resources Madeleine King as well as Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, asking for increased liquefied natural gas production as resource-poor Japan scrambles to reduce dependence on Russian LNG.

Hagiuda only said the two countries "showed their understanding" over Japan's situation.

In bilateral meetings with other ministers from the Indo-Pacific regions such as Indonesia, they affirmed efforts for continued cooperation in promoting use of clean energy and building supply chains for hydrogen and ammonia, the minister said.