Japan launches energy policy review amid global push for greener power

By Obayashi Yuka

The nation is struggling with the need to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, even as the public is already careful of nuclear power after Fukushima tragedy on Monday. TOKYO (Reuter) – Japan has initiated its new 3-year energy policy analysis on Tuesday.

In the last analysis of 2018, Japan retained a planned energy balance for 2030 with expectations set three years ago, of 22-24%, 20-22%, and 56% of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels, such as LNG and gas, accounted for 77 percent for the year ended March 2019, with renewables at 17 percent and nuclear at 6 percent respectively.

In light of the Fukushima tragedy in 2011, which contributed to a significant change in popular sentiment, many scientists see a nuclear goal as impossible to attain.

Hiroshi Kajiyama, the Minister for Business, told a news conference, "Safeguarding continuity of electricity supplies and building a decarbonized environment, though recognizing energy prices, are main concerns of discussing energy policies.

"I expect the representatives of a panel consider different perspectives and see active debates," he states. "There is no conclusion about the energy balance.

At Kajiyama's panel of experts to begin the analysis on Tuesday, many shared their desire to improve green energy and identified a strong long-term nuclear strategy.

But in July, the Ministry for climate, which is accountable for 40 percent of its CO2 emissions, cautioned that Japan would meet its 2030 reduction goal. Japan is aiming to decrease its greenhouses gas emissions by 26percent from 2013 levels by 2030.

There are actually only two nuclear plants active in Japan and a range of other re-licensing plants are under way in compliance with the revised safety requirements implemented by the Fukushima.

It is anticipated that the talks will proceed until next year.

(Yuka Obayashi's report; Jan Harvey's editing)