The Japanese government is in talks with Singapore and the USA to outline a framework for jointly procuring sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), The Asahi Shimbun reported.

According to the report, Japan aims to seal the agreement within the next two to three years.

“SAF is easy to use and there is a growing sense of urgency to strengthen the supply chain in terms of enhancing Japan’s economic security,” Ryuichi Kurokawa, a senior researcher with the Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute, was quoted as saying in the 2 February report.

In October, the International Civil Aviation Organization announced its goal to achieve net-zero emissions for CO² for international flights by 2050, the report said.

In line with that goal, from next year carriers in developed countries must achieve a 15% reduction of 2019 emission levels. This would lead to an increase in demand for SAF, The Asahi Shimbun wrote.

However, SAF production remained low, representing 0.03% of all jet fuels in 2020, according to the report.

The Japanese transport ministry was considering support measures to airline companies that had flights to Singapore and the USA, the report said.

Japan is looking at joint procurement of SAF under the initiative led by the governments, with carriers from the three countries forming joint contracts with SAF producers, according to the report.

Joint contracts with SAF production companies were expected to be less expensive than signing a deal as an individual carrier, the report said.

Japan is also considering setting up a consortium of airlines and SAF production companies for these countries and providing funds to it, according to the report.

The transport ministry concluded a memorandum with Singapore’s aviation authorities in December to launch a study aimed at promoting the use of SAF on flights between Japan and Singapore.

Japanese transport authorities also met with their US counterparts in January and were looking to work with other countries in the Pacific region over joint SAF procurement, The Asahi Shimbun wrote.