We spend 60 seconds with Makoto Takashima, President and Chief Executive Officer at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Why did you make the decision to join the Hydrogen Council? What value do you see in this initiative and your role as a member?
In 2014, a Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells was established by the Japanese government with the aim of realizing a hydrogen-based society, and as a result, hydrogen as a new energy resource has gained momentum in Japan. Since then, hydrogen has drawn our attention as a growing industry/sector as we believe hydrogen will play an important role in the transition toward a low-carbon society. In particular, our view is that clean hydrogen made from renewable energy sources can be used as an energy resource itself and will contribute to reducing carbon emissions in the electricity, heat, and transportation sectors.
What specific activities related to hydrogen is your company currently pursuing?
Together with Toyota Motor Corporation, we participate as initial investors in the “Mirai Creation Fund,” which was established by SPARX Group and has an investment policy of providing capital to companies with technologies to accelerate innovation and shape the society of the future. One of the investment scopes of this fund is technologies that can help enable a Hydrogen-Powered Society, including companies and projects related to the manufacture, supply, and utilization of hydrogen.
Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company (SMFL), a subsidiary of the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, provides leasing of hydrogen facilities such as hydrogen refuelling stations. In addition, the research arm of our group, Japan Research Institute (JRI), provides consulting services for the construction of hydrogen-related businesses. Using such resources, the SMBC Group strives to support the realization of a hydrogen-based society.
What most excites you about the potential for hydrogen use globally?
We believe that establishing supply chains is the key. The Basic Hydrogen Strategy in Japan indicates that Japan will develop international integrated hydrogen supply chains covering everything from hydrogen production to storage, transportation, and use. On the other hand, substantial investment is necessary to build the infrastructure, especially for hydrogen production and transportation from overseas to Japan. As one of the leading banks in infrastructure/project finance, we are confident in our capability to support future hydrogen projects and our ability to drive private investment globally. In order to realize a hydrogen-based society, it is necessary to nurture international collaboration rather than acting separately. Just imagine what we can do for the next generation. Now is the time to work together to create a better future.