The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies includes outstanding contributions from a diverse group of leading academics from across the globe. This volume is designed to serve as a major interdisciplinary reference work and a seminal text, both rigorous and accessible, to assist students and scholars in understanding one of the major nations of the world.
Chapter 33: Energy
Ever since Japan began industrializing in the late nineteenth century the country has been bereft of sufficient energy resources to cover its needs. In 2010 Japan imported 81 percent of its energy needs, with an overwhelming dependence on imported fossil fuels. Beginning in the 1960s, and especially since the oil crises of the 1970s, nuclear power has been promoted as the main means for reducing Japan's dependence on energy imports (along with efforts to increase energy efficiency). However, the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, which triggered a massive tsunami and a major nuclear accident, undermined Japan's existing energy policy. A national debate on the future of Japan's energy policy, especially the role of nuclear power and renewables in supplying electricity, has emerged as a result. The final outcome of ...