Evolution of Japanese Energy Policy
- Akira Matsuzawa (Japan National Oil Corp.) | Akinobu Tsumura (Japan National Oil Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 1980
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,691 - 1,694
- 1980. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.6.2 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources, 7.4.4 Energy Policy and Regulation, 4.6 Natural Gas, 7.2.5 Emergency Preparedness and Training, 7.4.3 Market analysis /supply and demand forecasting/pricing
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To limit oil imports, Japan has established goals for 1985 and 1990 in terms of energy conservation, production of nuclear power plants, importation of LNG and coal, and development of new energy sources. In addition, the government and private concerns are making efforts for strengthening the exploration and development of oil resources and for diversifying the sources of imported oil.
Two decades before the oil crisis in 1973, Japan had enjoyed unprecedented rapid growth of its economy. The gross national product (GNP) had increased 10% per year in 20 years, resulting in a rapid growth of energy consumption. Total energy consumption in 1973 was equivalent to 7 MMB/D (407 x 106 m3/a) compared with 1 MMB/D (58 x 106 m3/a) in 1953. Oil consumption represented 87% of this increase. As a result, in 1973 Japan was consuming 5.5 MMB/D (319 x 106 m3/a) of oil, which represented 75% of primary energy consumption, and 99.8% of the oil was imported. In fact, Japan's rapid economic growth for two decades had relied on the plentiful and stable supplies of oil that had been achieved in the world, particularly in the Middle East. This crisis, first experienced as oil shortages and sharp price increases, had an especially profound impact on oil-dependent Japan. Trends in economic growth changed fundamentally after the oil shock and the unprecedented recession that followed. In the postcrisis period, there has been little expectation that the future economic growth rate will equal that of the pre-1973 period. As a result of observations over the past few years on the global development of oil and other energy sources, and through continued discussions concerning the future status of these sources, the great majority of Japanese have become aware that a stable energy supply will be the decisive factor for economic growth in the future.
Guidelines of the Ministerial Task Force for Energy Policy
The oil shock made the Japanese government and people aware of the importance of stable supplies of energy for future economic performance. The government set up the Natural Resources and Energy Agency (attached to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and the Ministerial Task Force for Energy Policy, headed by the prime minister. In 1975, upon request by the Natural Resources and Energy Agency, the Advisory Committee for Energy worked out a recommendation for a new energy policy, including interim projections of energy supply and demand. The Ministerial Task Force reviewed the report submitted by the committee and set up guidelines for an energy policy. The result of the study by the committee suggested that there is no simple and easy way to ensure a stable energy supply for a country like Japan, which lacks the indigenous energy resources and is dependent on large amounts of energy.
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