Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism had indicated its intention to develop safety standards for vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) which it expects will largely supersede oil-fueled marine transportation, reports LNews. JPY 647 million (USD 8.3 million) has been set aside in the 2012 budget for the creation of comprehensive safety measures pertaining to marine renewable energy. Japan is apparently planning to establish an environment for the promotion of natural gas fueled vessels as it addresses environmental issues.
A separate news report from Mainichi says the country already has technological capacity to manufacture LNG-fueled shipping. The budget sets up a program through to 2016 that will focus on setting up safety standards that in turn may assist Japan take a leading role in the building and utilization of LNG-powered ships. Officials have reportedly said the country will also become involved at the International Maritime Organization where global rules are developed.