The Japanese government has settled on a plan to create a public-private conference of nations that produce and consume liquefied natural gas (LNG), a top-selling business daily here reported Monday. The goal is to bring down the price of LNG, a resource for which demand is increasing at a rapid clip, and to also have Japan diversify the nations from which it imports gas, the Nikkei Shimbun said. The first meeting would be held in Tokyo as early as the fall, and then be held every year afterward. The government envisions energy ministers of LNG importing and exporting nations participating in the conference, and will also call on firms such as Tokyo Gas Co., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Gazprom to join, it said. Japan is currently sounding out 20 foreign governments -- including importers such as South Korea and China, as well as exporters such as Qatar, Malaysia and Russia -- and companies on the working level, the paper said, adding that Tokyo later plans to make requests on the ministerial level. With the exception of inside the US, gas prices have been trending up as Europe moves to wean itself off nuclear power and as developing economies grow. The conference would discuss issues such as how a sound LNG market would function without having exporters tending to supply specific customer nations. Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi later in the day and make the first request to a head of state to participate, the report said. India consumed 4% of the LNG used globally in 2010. Although small, India procures more than 90% of its LNG from Qatar and is looking to diversify its supply sources. Its demand for LNG is expected to increase as the economy grows, so it is expected to find common ground with Japan on lowering the price.