Resource-poor Japan is dependent on imports for 96% of its primary energy supply; even if nuclear energy is included in domestic energy, dependency is still at 82%. Thus, Japan’s energy supply structure is extremely vulnerable. Following the two oil crises in the 1970s, Japan has diversi ed its energy sources through increased use of nuclear energy, natural gas and coal, as well as the promotion of energy e ciency and conservation.
Despite these improvements, oil still accounts for about 50% of Japan’s primary energy supply, and nearly 90% of imported oil comes from the politically unstable Middle East. Moreover, prospects for importing electricity from neighboring countries are very poor because Japan is an island nation. In addition, there is an urgent need for global warming countermeasures such as reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the use of energy. To ensure Japan’s stable electricity supply, it is crucial to establish an optimal combination of power sources that can concurrently deliver energy security, economic efficiency, and environmental conservation, while placing top priority on safety.
Concerning Japan’s energy policy, the Japanese Government will develop the Japanese model of the optimal combination of power sources, based on detailed studies on the cost of the nuclear fuel cycle and the amount of renewable energy that can be introduced across the country, while thoroughly implementing safety measures for nuclear power generation. rough these activities, the government intends to draw up a new Framework of Nuclear Energy Policy and a new Basic Energy Plan by the summer of 2012.