Energy and Technology

In an era when energy issues are becoming more and more intertwined with a nation’s technological capacity, energy security and energy resiliency are top concerns for both the United States and Japan. Cooperation on these issues represents another means by which to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Both countries are undergoing profound change in the energy sector, driven in the United States by the unconventional gas and oil revolution and in Japan by the March 11, 2011 events that led to the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear industry. While U.S. and Japanese demand for energy is flat, global demand continues to increase, particularly in Asia, with ramifications for energy markets and climate change.

Both countries are global leaders in advanced science and state-of-the art technologies. Over the past 70 years, the United States and Japan have collaborated bilaterally and in multilateral efforts on a myriad of topics including energy and the physical sciences. Continued and expanded cooperation by government, academia, and the private sector can help move economies toward a greener, more sustainable, future.


Energy security and U.S.-Japan cooperation

Energy security is a concern for both the United States and Japan, and cooperation on this issue represents another means by which to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance. In 2016, Sasakawa USA launched a program exploring the energy makeup of both counties, and areas for collaboration.

Securing Critical Resources in a New Green and Industrial Era

Sasakawa USA held a conference featuring key business, government, and other experts that focused on rare metals to examine the various risks companies face sourcing critical materials, look at data-driven projections on future sourcing for various technologies, and develop strategies to improve the resiliency of critical materials supply lines.

Smart Grids and Cybersecurity

Sasakawa USA’s program on Smart Grids and Cybersecurity addresses issues including cybersecurity threats, modernizing electric grids to integrate conventional and renewable sources of electricity, expanding use of energy storage and distributed generation, and responding seamlessly to disruptions.


Japan’s Changing Electricity Market: Recommendations for Policy Makers

Author: Tarak Shah, Energy Policy Consultant

Energy policy consultant Tarak Shah participated in the Sasakawa USA 2017-2018 In-Depth Alumni Research Trip to Japan. In this paper, Shah highlights current trends in the Japanese electricity market, notes areas of strength, and outlines specific changes that Japanese policy makers could implement for a safer, cleaner energy future. 

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Japan’s Energy Conundrum

Author: 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

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 in the aftermath of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

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Japan’s Plutonium Question

Author: Dr. Phyllis Genther Yoshida, Senior Fellow for Energy and Technology, Sasakawa USA

Categories: Sasakawa USA Blog

Japan must reassess the appropriate supply-demand balance of its plutonium stocks upon completion of its new energy plan. Japan has about 47 tons of separated plutonium onshore and stored in France and Great Britain for reprocessing into commercial fuel with a small amount reserved for research purposes.

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Japan’s new Basic Energy Plan

Japan’s Cabinet approved a revised Basic Energy Plan on July 3 that set goals for Japan’s energy mix to 2030. The plan moves Japan in the right direction, but is not as innovative as some had hoped.

Liquefied Natural Gas: The Necessity of Flexibility

Dr. Phyllis G. Yoshida, Sasakawa USA Fellow for Energy and Technology, delves into the world of LNG in the context of the U.S.-Japan relationship in a new Sasakawa USA report on the global energy trade. In the report, Dr. Yoshida argues for increased U.S.-Japan cooperation in making the LNG market more transparent.

Spotlight on U.S.-Japan Civil Nuclear Engagement

Tight U.S.-Japan integration in nuclear energy means that when the Japanese industry sneezes, the U.S. industry catches a cold and vice versa. The continuing fallout from the events of March 11, 2011 and Toshiba Corporation’s financial woes signals a difficult time for the nuclear industry in both countries in 2017.


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Adm. Dennis C. Blair
Chairman and Distinguished Senior Fellow (Non-Resident)

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Phyllis Genther Yoshida
Senior Fellow for Energy and Technology