Toyota Motor is one of 88 Japanese companies which have established the new Japan Hydrogen Association, to promote the creation of a hydrogen supply chain.

A Reuters report noted the move came as Japan targeted the creation of a commercial hydrogen fuel distribution chain by around 2030 to cut carbon emissions, and followed prime minister Yoshihide Suga's declaration of an ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral in 2050.

The association, co-headed by the chairmen of Toyota, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Iwatani Corp, plans to make policy recommendations to the government in February next year, the news agency said.

"To implement hydrogen in society in earnest, discontinuous innovation that goes beyond previous efforts is necessary," Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said. "Deregulation is also important," he added.

Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama told Reuters he would fully support the movement by the private sector.

"We will create a market environment where the CO2-free value of hydrogen can be fairly evaluated," he said.

He added the government plans to use part of the JPY2 trillion yen (US$19bn) fund aimed at helping research and development for decarbonisation announced by Suga last Friday to support hydrogen technology.

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has established a Fuel Cell Business Group to oversee its hydrogen activities across the region.

Based in Brussels, it will strengthen the business case for hydrogen and support its introduction into mobility and other fields, making it accessible to new commercial partners. This will support the company's long-term sustainability strategy.