Japan is using nuclear technology only for supplying electricity.
Energy security is Japan main geopolitical concerns. As an island nation without indigenous energy sources, Japan relies heavily on imported fossil fuels. This overreliance on imports endangers the country’s energy system if a geopolitical event disrupts shipping to East Asia.
Since Fukushima, the reopening of nuclear power plants in Japan has become more difficult in many ways. The Japanese government has adopted much stricter safety measures, and the nuclear industry has had to fight tirelessly to regain the confidence of the Japanese people.
The cut in nuclear plants affected Japan’s trade balance. Between 2011 and 2013, the cost of importing energy resources into Japan was $40 trillion, and the total trade deficit between April 2011 and March 2014 was $227 billion. As a result, the government was forced to adopt the 4th Strategic Energy Plan in 2014 and declare that nuclear energy was a vital energy source that would continue being used optimal security conditions to achieve a stable and affordable energy supply.
In the coming years, the public acceptance of nuclear energy among Japanese local and regional leaders will be highly likely for environmental and employment reasons.
On the other hand, Japan will need to make significant strategic efforts to develop alternative energy sources. To bring its energy self-sufficiency rate back to the 2010 level or even higher, an optimal combination of renewable and nuclear energy is imperative.
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