The announcement was made at a Japanese embassy event in Washington on Wednesday evening.

Efforts already underway include the Trump administration’s “Asia-EDGE” initiative announced July 30 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which entails $50mn in investment this year to help Indo-Pacific partners import, store and deploy energy resources.

The heightened focus on the Indo-Pacific region is sees as a measure to help counterbalance China’s footprint in the infrastructure development—with the benefit of helping expand the market for US LNG exports from Southeast Asia to South Asia.

Ray Washburne, president and CEO of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation stated: “The great thing with this LNG boom that we have [is], we can finance the facilities at the other end to take gas in.”

Total LNG demand in the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow to 50.9 Bcf/d by 2024, a 23.3 Bcf/d (84%) increase over 2017 levels, and the region is expected to account for more than 70% of global LNG demand growth over that period, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Steven Winberg, DOE assistant secretary of energy for fossil energy, stated his agency is committed to deepening its work with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and to promote US LNG exports and greater LNG use in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

“This administration is committed to energy policy that maximizes the reach of American energy resources abroad,” Winberg stated.

In November 2017, the US and Japan had launched the Japan-US Strategic Energy Partnership, pledging to cooperate on promoting advanced nuclear technologies, coal technologies, global gas and energy infrastructure—and had designated Southeast Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa as important regions.

As part of that effort, the two countries had also signed an MOU on developing energy infrastructure in other countries.