(EnergyAsia, April 3 2013, Wednesday) — About 40 energy officials representing the governments of Japan and Vietnam held their first bilateral dialogue in Hanoi last month to dicsuss trade and policy issues facing the coal industry.

The delegations were led respectively by Akira Yasui, the coal division director of Japan’s Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry, and Nguyen Khac Tho, deputy director general for energy in Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

In affirming its continued support for Vietnam’s coal industry in particular and economy in general, the Tokyo delegation asked their Hanoi counterparts to provide assurance of continued stable supply of high-quality anthracite coal to Japan.

In turn, Vietnam wants Japan to provide training for its officials and technicians, environmental protection, technology and investment in developing the Southeast Asian nation’s rich coal reserves. Hanoi is particularly interested in attracting Japanese investment and supply of technology to help develop efficient coal-fired power generation.

The delegations have confirmed that Japan is looking to introduce to Vietnam its ultra super critical (USC) coal-fired power generation technology.

Apart from METI, Japan was represented by state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), and Japan Coal Energy centre (JCOAL). The Vietnamese delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), Vietnam Electricity (EVN), and PetroVietnam (PVN).