September 2022
AIIB ASEAN ASEAN (R) ASEAN-ISIS Asia Big Tech CH: Hong Kong Country (R): Indonesia Country (R): Malaysia Country (R): Myanmar Country (R): Singapore Country: ASEAN Country: Australia Country: Cambodia Country: China Country: Germany Country: India Country: Indonesia Country: Japan Country: Laos Country: Malaysia Country: Myanmar Country: North Korea Country: Philippines Country: Qatar Country: Russia Country: Singapore Country: South Korea Country: Taiwan Country: Thailand Country: UK Country: United States Country: US Country: USA Country: Vietnam covid-19 DE: 5G DE: Data privacy DE: Data security DE: Facebook Digitalisation Elections: Indonesia 2019 Elections: Thailand 2019 ESG: Climate Change ESG: Diversity ESG: Energy ESG: Green Finance ESG: Green Growth ESG: Haze ESG: Human Rights ESG: Modern Slavery ESG: Peatland ESG: Riau ESG: Smallholders ESG: Sustainability ESG: Sustainable/Green Infrastructure European Union Event: SDSWR Events: AAF Fukushima Global Citizens Singapore Google Indonesia: Jokowi Institute: ERIA Institute: SIIA JP: Abenomics Leaders: Kim Jong Un Leaders: Lee Hsien Loong Megatrends: Populism MM: Aung San Suu Kyi MM: NLD MM: Rakhine State MY: Anwar Ibrahim MY: GE14 MY: Mahathir Mohamad MY: Najib Razak New Horizons New Zealand Nicholas Fang Oh Ei Sun Recovery Region: Latin America Region: Middle East Reports Security: South China Sea Security: Terrorism SG: Lee Kuan Yew SG: SG Secure SG: Smart Nation SG: Society Simon Tay Sustainable infrastructure Topic (R): Belt and Road Topic (R): Business Topic (R): Digitisation Topic (R): Economy Topic (R): Green Finance Topic (R): Haze Topic (R): Infrastructure Topic (R): Palm Oil Topic (R): Peatland Topic (R): Smallholders Topic (R): Sustainability Topic: Anti-Globalisation Topic: Belt and Road Topic: Business Topic: Coronavirus Topic: COVID-19 Topic: Deforestation Topic: Development Topic: Digital Economy Topic: Digitisation Topic: E-Commerce Topic: Economics Topic: Economy Topic: Elections Topic: Environment Topic: ESG Topic: Finance Topic: Global Citizens Topic: Globalisation Topic: Human Trafficking Topic: Indo-Pacific Topic: Infrastructure Topic: Investment Topic: Labour Topic: Nuclear Topic: Palm Oil Topic: Race Topic: Regional Integration Topic: Religion Topic: Security Topic: Singapore-Malaysia Relations Topic: Small States Topic: Trade Trade: AEC Trade: CPTPP Trade: FTA Trade: Multilateralism Trade: RCEP Trade: TPP Trade: War Trends (Digital): Cybersecurity UK: Brexit United States US: Obama US: Trump US: Trump WEF youth

Nuclear Power and Abenomics

17 Apr Nuclear Power and Abenomics

Japan’s new Basic Energy Plan sends a clear signal that the country will not abandon nuclear power, spelling bad news for environmentalists and people concerned about nuclear safety. Opinion polls suggest the majority of Japanese citizens are still uncertain about nuclear power.

But since taking office in 2012, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken a pragmatic stance on energy and economic policy. He has pushed for the reactors to be restarted to help sustain the country’s gradual recovery – letting the nuclear plants sit idle costs Tokyo billions of US dollars every year.

The first energy plan since Fukushima

Japan revises its Basic Energy Plans every three years. But the last plan was created before the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, which is why this year’s plan was so widely anticipated. The 2014 Basic Energy Plan is a 78-page document, based on recommendations by a 15-member task force of experts. It was adopted by the Japanese Cabinet last week.

Impact on Abenomics

Before the Fukushima disaster, about 30 per cent of Japan’s electricity came from nuclear power, over 60 per cent from fossil fuels, and less than 10 per cent from renewables. But since most of Japan’s nuclear reactors are still offline, almost all of the country’s electricity is being generated by fossil fuels at present. The increased demand for coal and gas is costing Japan an estimated US$35.3 billion (S$44.3b) in additional fuel costs every year. Restarting the nuclear plants would relieve this burden.

Back to the status quo?

The new Basic Energy Plan calls for Japan to accelerate its use of solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power. But the plan does not set any concrete targets for making renewables a greater part of Japan’s energy mix. Last week, Japan’s Economy and Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi promised that these targets would be set “as soon as possible”.

If Japan does unveil actual goals for renewable energy, this will change the situation. But until then, most analysts assume that the new plan is effectively a return to the pre-Fukushima status quo, with most of Japan’s electricity still coming from fossil fuels and nuclear plants.


Post-Fukushima Japan Chooses Coal Over Renewable Energy [Bloomberg, 13 Apr 2014]

Government takes realistic stance on N-power in basic energy plan [Yomiuri Shimbun, 12 Apr 2014]