NHK--Japan and Australia have agreed on safety standards to transport liquid hydrogen by sea.
Government officials from both countries struck a deal in the Australian capital of Canberra on Wednesday.
Hydrogen produced in Australia by heating brown coal will be shipped in liquid form by tanker to Japan for use as energy.
The safety standards require that storage tanks be made of materials that can withstand the low temperature extreme of liquid hydrogen, at minus 253 degrees Celsius. They also cover fire extinguishing equipment.
Both governments will set domestic safety standards ahead of a pilot project planned for 2020.
Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries will build a dedicated tanker for the project.
Senior company official Yukichi Takaoka says technical challenges remain, as liquid hydrogen has never been shipped. But he says the tanker will be ready on time.