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Japans Energy Policy under Abe: Liberalization of the Energy Market and Nuclear U-turn

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Authors
Lim, Eunjung
Issue Date
2018-10-31
Publisher
Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.4 No.1, pp. 103-131
Keywords
Abe ShinzōJapanenergy policyLiberalization of the energy marketrestarting nuclear reactors
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the direction and background of energy policy under the Abe administration, which has achieved a long-term hold on power by prioritizing reconstruction of the Japanese economy. Japan encountered an opportunity to conduct a major shift in energy policy through the Fukushima nuclear accident that occurred following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. However, the Democratic Party of Japan, then the ruling party, failed politically, allowing Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party to regain power, and Japans energy policy has since been characterized by liberalization of the energy market and a return to pre-Fukushima nuclear policy. It may be difficult to understand why the Abe administration decided on such a nuclear U-turn. It can be concluded that this reflects concerns regarding damage to energy and environmental security, political pressure from nuclear host communities, and international apprehension over Japans accumulating stockpile of plutonium. Liberalization of the energy market is leading to fierce competition among large corporations, and the Japanese energy market is expected to become more dependent on gas and nuclear power for the time being. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these developments for South Korea, which is aiming for energy policy transition under Moon Jae-ins leadership.
ISSN
2384-2849
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/144943
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소)Seoul Journal of Japanese StudiesSeoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.4 no.1(2018)
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