The move comes as Japan targets the creation of a commercial hydrogen fuel distribution chain by around 2030 to cut carbon emissions, and follows Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s declaration of an ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral in 2050.
The association, co-headed by the chairmen of Toyota, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc and Iwatani Corp , plans to make policy recommendations to the government in February next year.
“To implement hydrogen in society in earnest, discontinuous innovation that goes beyond previous efforts is necessary ,” Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada told a news conference, referring to dramatic changes in an industry that alter end-user behaviour.
“Deregulation is also important,” he added.
Other board members include oil refiner Eneos Holdings Inc and trading house Mitsui & Co.
As of Monday, 88 companies from a wide range of industries had participated as member companies.
Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said he would fully support the movement by the private sector.
“We will create a market environment where the CO2-free value of hydrogen can be fairly evaluated,” he said.
The government plans to use part of the 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) fund aimed at helping research and development for decarbonisation announced by Suga last Friday to support hydrogen technology, Kajiyama said.
“We will consider using all policy tools including regulatory reforms, tax incentives and international standardization,” he said.
“We want to map out an action plan as a package for a green growth strategy later this year.”