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Singapore, Japan to create first ‘Green and Digital Shipping Corridor’

December 19 ------ The governments of Singapore and Japan have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) to establish first Singapore – Japan Green and Digital Shipping Corridor (GDSC), aiming at developing standards and best practices supporting the decarbonization, digitalization and growth of the maritime industry. The MoC was signed between the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Singapore (MOT) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) on December 16, 2023. 


The creation of the Singapore – Japan Green and Digital Shipping Corridor is said to reaffirm the strong commitment of Singapore and Japan to accelerate maritime decarbonization and digitalization. Under the milestone collaboration, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA Singapore) will work together with six Japanese ports – namely, the Port of Tokyo, Port of Yokohama and Port of Kawasaki supporting the Kanto Region, the Port of Osaka and the Port of Kobe supporting the Kansai Region and the Port of Nagoya supporting the Chubu Region. 


These six Japanese ports are the key nodes for the major economic regions of Kanto, Kansai and Chubu. They handled a combined cargo total of about 57 million tons in 2020, representing a significant proportion of total cargo handled in Japan. They have also been embarking on various initiatives under the MLIT’s overarching Carbon Neutral Port plan. 


With the establishment of the Green and Digital Shipping Corridor, MPA and the Japanese port partners aim to embark on pilot projects and trials for alternative marine fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen. The two sides will also work together to develop the necessary bunkering infrastructure, standards and training. They will also encourage the development and adoption of technologies to decarbonize port infrastructure. 


On the digitalization front, Singapore and Japan will identify and implement digital solutions to streamline port clearance processes. Both sides will also exchange information and best practices on maritime cybersecurity risks as well as other aspects of maritime digitalization. “This MoC between Japan and Singapore is a timely and necessary step in our drive towards the decarbonization and digitalization of the maritime industry. This GDSC will facilitate the establishment of a viable zero and near-zero greenhouse gas emission fuel supply chain for ammonia and hydrogen, build smarter ports with digital solutions, and share insights and best practices on maritime digitalization and cybersecurity,” MPA Singapore said on social media. 


Japan is one of Singapore’s top ten trading partners, and the trade volume between the two countries totaled S$65 billion (about $48.8 billion) in 2022.  Governments around the world have been creating green shipping corridors that will help put the shipping sector on a pathway to align with the 1.5-degree goal this decade, facilitate the industry’s transition to alternative fuels and encourage full-scale decarbonization. 


The number of green corridor initiatives around the world went from 21 to 44 over the past year, according to the findings of the 2023 Annual Progress Report on Green Shipping Corridors released by the Global Maritime Forum. The number of such initiatives is constantly growing. A few days ago, Canada also announced it would pursue the establishment of a green shipping corridor between Canada’s West Coast and ports in the United Arab Emirates, Korea and Japan. 



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