Japan’s growing concern about energy security

One of Japan’s nuclear power plants guarded by police officers wearing face masks
Ikata Nuclear Power Plant in Ehime Prefecture, Aug. 11, 2016: Police officers guard the long-idled facility about to be restarted (source: dpa)
  • The Japanese government unveiled its latest version of the country’s Strategic Energy Plan (SEP)
  • The 2014 SEP focused on reducing Japan’s dependence on nuclear and fossil-burning power, and expanding renewables
  • Four years later, the SEP’s newest iteration takes into account new parameters that affect the country’s energy position

Japan imports more than 90 percent of the energy it uses. No other major industrial nation is as dependent on the outside world for this critical resource. The economic and security implications of this fact are weighty for Japan, as are the consequences of the strategies that it chooses for assuring its energy supplies in the coming decades. In ways, Japan’s example may provide useful cues to other countries as well, as they recast their energy policies to adjust to the changing conditions.

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