Japan’s Energy Conundrum

Phyllis Genther Yoshida, Dennis Blair, Robert Alan Feldman, Ken Koyama, Jane Nakano, Llewelyn Hughes, Nobuo Tanaka, Yukari Niwa Yamashita, Michael Smitka, Ken Haig, Jun Arima, Tom Cutler

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Japan’s energy policy for over a century has sought to compensate for geographic and resource vulnerabilities while supporting economic growth. More than any other major country, its actions have centered on lowering risk, maintaining security, and safeguarding an uninterrupted supply. It implemented policies quite successfully to achieve these goals through a commercial oligopolistic market tempered by a persistent government presence. Yet, more than once, Japan encountered challenges of such size and scope that it was forced to change policy direction dramatically and seek a new base energy source. These reoccurring challenges have constituted a frustratingly persistent and familiar conundrum; how to provide a secure, affordable and environmentally-friendly energy supply resilient to the unexpected in a country with inadequate domestic energy resources. The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and its aftermath triggered the most recent such challenge.

Sasakawa USA is pleased to bring together an outstanding group of senior scholars, all with extensive knowledge and experience, to analyze and explain the many facets of Tokyo’s energy situation and its intersection with the U.S.-Japan relationship. Japan’s Energy Conundrum provides insights into how Japan is seeking to resolve its current energy conundrum by balancing energy security, economic growth, environmental sustainability, and safety in the aftermath of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. It also recommends ways in which the U.S.-Japan energy security relationship can become stronger and collaboration deeper.

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A Japanese launch was held at Sasakawa Peace Foundation on October 23. 

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