(EnergyAsia, April 12 2013, Friday) — About 40 officials representing the Indonesian and Japanese governments held a one-day meeting in Tokyo last month to discuss issues affecting the coal industry and their countries’ trade in the fuel.

The Indonesian delegation, led by Edi Prasodjo, coal director in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, met with the Japanese team headed by Akira Yasui, coal director in the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry.

Indonesia accounts for 20% of the coal imported into Japan, making it the second largest supplier after Australia.

According to METI’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, the meeting, known as the Fifth Japan-Indonesia Coal Policy Dialogue, discussed a wide range of topics to promote bilateral cooperation in coal exploration, development, utilisation and trade.

The two teams affirmed their countries’ commitment to generating power using Indonesia’s low-grade coal. They will also step up efforts to convert coal into natural gas and upgrade low-quality coal.

“There are many plans for the introduction of high-efficiency coal-fired power generation in Indonesia, and both countries reaffirmed the importance of further cooperation in this area,” said METI. The two governments will evaluate facilities, the use of Japanese operation and maintenance technology in new coal-fired power generation projects and the possibility of tapping Japanese funding.

In turn, Indonesia will help ensure the stable supply of coal to Japan while using Japanese facilities and technology in coal-fired power generation.

Apart from METI, the Japanese delegation included executives from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL).

The Indonesian delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (PTBA) and Indonesian Coal Mining Association (ICMA).