Mar 13

Past Event

Restructuring the Electricity Sector in Japan: Will it Enhance Energy Security?



  • Japan’s Strange Power Sector Structure

    Yoshiharu Tachibana, University of Tokyo: Japan is divided into two frequency areas, one 50 hertz and the other 60 hertz. The difficulty of transmitting power between the two became apparent after the March 11 earthquake and nuclear accident.

  • Bottom Line Lessons for Japan’s Electricity Restructuring

    Michael Chesser: Japan must maximize energy efficiency to fill the nuclear gap and maximize competitive benefits from the power generation wholesale market. Plus always keep the customer in mind.

    Michael Chesser

  • Japan Has Attacked Electricity Restructuring Backward

    William Hogan, Harvard University: If Japan's goal in electricity sector restructuring is to promote competition, innovation and the advantages of markets, then it has attacked the problem backward.

  • Fukushima Shook the Core of Japan's Energy Policy

    Jane Nakano, Center for Strategic and International Studies: Since the early 1970s, Japan had an effort to shift its energy reliance away from Middle East crude oil and, prior to the Fukushima accident, aimed to have 50 percent of its power sourced from nuclear. Today, all civilian nuclear plants are offline.


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In the wake of the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Japanese government has sought a new energy policy that decreases reliance on nuclear power while providing secure, affordable electric power and maintaining its economic competitiveness. A proposed bill to reform the domestic electricity market would deregulate the power sector and unbundle generation from transmission and distribution services.

On March 13, the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at Brookings hosted a discussion on the restructuring of the electricity sector in Japan and comparing it to the experience of deregulation in the United States. Panelists discussed how increasing oil and gas costs affect competition in various markets and the degree to which proposed reforms in Japan are contingent on domestic nuclear policy. The panelists closely considered circumstances that are unique to Japan’s electricity sector in this discussion.

Senior Fellow and Director of ESI, Charles Ebinger, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.

 Join the conversation on Twitter using #JapanEnergy.

Event Agenda


March 13, 2014

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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