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TOKYO, May 19 (Reuters) - Japanese companies including JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy and Toyota Motor said on Friday they aim to set up a joint venture this year to expand the nation's fuel station network for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).
Japan is betting heavily on becoming a "hydrogen society" despite the high costs and technical difficulties. Last year, the government set a goal to have 160 commercial hydrogen stations by 2020/21 and 320 stations by 2025/26.
Japan currently has about 90 stations, of which 40 are operated by JXTG Nippon Oil. A spokesman for JXTG Nippon Oil said the new venture will aim to achieve the government's goals.
Other companies involved in the venture include Nissan Motor , Honda Motor, Idemitsu Kosan, Iwatani Corp, Tokyo Gas, Toho Gas, Toyota Tsusho and Development Bank of Japan.
Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Tom Hogue