Port of Oakland officials joined a delegation of California policymakers, decisionmakers and business executives, led by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Dee Dee Myers, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, on a trade mission to Japan last week. The group exchanged ideas about tackling climate change, clean energy economies, and creating new investment and trade opportunities.
“We enjoyed the exchange of information, technology and best practices that will complement our efforts to create a zero-emissions port in Oakland,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan.
As the Port of Oakland moves towards its goal of reducing and eliminating polluting emissions, Japan’s use of hydrogen technology is of particular interest to Executive Director Wan and other Port representatives.
“More than one hundred projects are looking at zero emissions in maritime shipping worldwide,” says Wan. “Nearly half of these initiatives focus on hydrogen as a low-carbon fuel source.”
The week-long trip included various forums on climate collaboration and trade and investment opportunities as well as visits to the Port of Kobe hydrogen terminal, and energy innovation companies like Panasonic, Toyota and the Fujimi Waste-to-Energy Plant.
Events included the California-Japan Climate Summit, California Trade and Investment Forum, a visit to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (AmCham), and Smart Energy Week exhibition. California agricultural producers, many of whom ship their products through the Port of Oakland to Japan, held a reception showcasing California-grown products.
Japan and California have shared a long-lasting bond. The Port of Oakland and the Bay Area have long served as a gateway connecting Japan and the United States. Plus, the Port of Oakland has a sister-city relationship with the City of Fukuoka, Japan.
Japan and the State of California last year signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to address climate change and promote cooperation in trade and investment.
Japan, as a key trade partner, is the number one destination for cargo that leaves the Oakland Seaport, accounting for 17 percent of exports from the Port of Oakland.
The goal of this mission was to collaborate for building a sustainable future and strengthening business ties.