Japan's industry minister plans to visit France later this week to attend the International Energy Agency (IEA) summit on critical minerals and clean energy as the country strengthens its diplomacy to secure key metals.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry, has been travelling overseas quite often this year as the resource-poor nation seeks to make more international collaborations and create a resilient supply chain for key minerals, including those used in batteries that power electric vehicles.
Batteries are a key part of Japan's plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 as they underpin the electrification of automobiles, while boosting the adoption of renewable energy.
Just last week, Japan and Canada agreed to work more closely together to establish sustainable and reliable global battery supply chains.
During his trip from Sept. 27 to 30, Nishimura may also attend the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency' meeting, according to an official at the industry ministry.
Japan made a major nuclear power policy shift last year to tackle its energy crisis more than a decade after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster prompted it to idle most of its reactors.
In May this year, Japan and France signed a nuclear cooperation agreement in Paris to deepen and accelerate ties in the research and development of next-generation nuclear such as sodium-cooled fast reactors. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Anil D'Silva)