California and Japan to Collaborate on Clean Ports and Shipping


SACRAMENTO – The governments of California and Japan today announced a new effort to work together to clean up a critical link in the global supply chain by collaborating on strategies to cut planet-warming pollution at seaports and establish green shipping corridors.

“The ports of California and Japan help power the global economy and will now help power a new era of clean energy, clean transportation and good-paying green jobs,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California is a global climate and economic leader, and I’m thankful to the Japanese government for collaborating with us to help accelerate efforts to aggressively combat climate change on both sides of the Pacific and recognizing that we need to get things done now because later is too late.”

Image of CA and Japanese government staff holding the signed Letter of Intent

       Signatories and witnesses for the letter of intent between California and Japan signed Tuesday in Tokyo.

The letter of intent signed in Tokyo by members of the Newsom Administration overseeing business, transportation, energy and air quality, and officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan builds on the partnership Governor Newsom forged last March to enhance trade and climate action between the world’s third- and fourth-largest economies. The signing is a centerpiece of a weeklong trade mission to Japan led by Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) Director Dee Dee Myers with California business leaders – including the executive directors of the state’s three largest ports.

“We would like to take this letter of intent as an opportunity to deepen our cooperation with the State of California and strengthen our efforts to decarbonize our ports and create green shipping corridors,” said State Minister Toshiro Toyoda of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

“Today’s historic collaboration further strengthens California’s strong economic and trade partnership with Japan and takes meaningful action on our shared commitment to tackling climate change,” said Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis. “Our pan-Pacific partnership is a global model for climate action and a critical step towards achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

As noted in the letter of intent, the California State Transportation Agency will support green shipping corridors, port decarbonization and the deployment of zero-emission transportation through the $1.2 billion Port and Freight Infrastructure Program, with awards for the historic one-time program scheduled to be announced later this month. In addition, the Japanese ministry along with GO-Biz, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission will share expertise and best practices on critical efforts to cut port-related pollution, including strategies for offshore wind development and zero-emission fuels and infrastructure.

“California’s strategic port and freight infrastructure investments and enhanced collaboration with Japan will help reduce the carbon footprint of a key sector of our economies and make the state’s green port projects more competitive for upcoming federal grants through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. “I am proud to join Director Myers, Air Resources Board Chair Liane Randolph and Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan in forming this important partnership to help deliver cleaner air and a more sustainable supply chain for the people of California.”

This is the latest in a series of international partnerships as part of the state’s world-leading agenda to aggressively combat and adapt to climate change, including strategies that improve air quality for Californians living near ports. Governor Newsom’s landmark climate executive order in 2020 set a goal of 100 percent zero-emission drayage truck operation by 2035, and the state is making historic investments in offshore wind energy and zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure to reach the state’s ambitious goals of reaching net zero carbon pollution no later than 2045 and delivering 90 percent clean energy by 2035.

Letter of Intent – Summary

California Signatories: Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin; GO-Biz Director Dee Dee Myers; Air Resources Board Chair Liane Randolph; Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan.

Japan Signatories: Ichiro Takahashi, Director-General Maritime Bureau; Osamu Horita, Director-General Ports and Harbors Bureau; Shigenori Hiraoka, Director-General International Affairs.

Notable Witnesses: State Minister Toshiro Toyoda, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan; Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis; Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi; Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero; Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

Key Action: Deepen cooperation, information-sharing and discussion of best practices between the governments of California and Japan to support the development of green shipping corridors, expand offshore wind and cut planet-warming pollution at ports in Japan and California.

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