Cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) between South Africa and Japan was established in August 2003.  In the past 20 years, South Africa and Japan have developed a very good relationship in the scientific and technological field.  The DSI is currently seeking to advance strategic partnerships with Japan on the hydrogen economy – an area in which Japan is a strong importer candidate and technology partner.

As part of the outcomes of the International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo, which the DSI and a group of South Africa companies participated in, (Programme 3 – International desk, in partnership with Programme 2 – Hydrogen and Energy Chief Directorate, supported by the Embassy of Japan) organised a Roundtable discussion between South African and Japanese companies in June 2023.  Japanese participants included Japan External Trade Office (JETRO), Toyota, Mitsubishi Bank, Mitsubishi Corporation, Sumitomo, Mitsui, Mitsubishi Power Africa, Toshiba and Itochu.  As an outcome of the roundtable discussions, it was recommended that preparatory work needed to be done, which would facilitate tangible outputs during the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial

At a meeting that took place in September 2023 in Tokyo, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the South Africa’s DSI and Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry was signed by the two Ministers. This MOC will be an important instrument that will assist the two countries in looking at projects to be funded and possibly have a demonstration plant related to hydrogen projects, electrolyser development as well as hydrogen export from South Africa to Japan.