This past April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan laid out their vision for how Japan can meet its future energy needs. This was the first energy plan since the 2011 disaster at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Of the 48 total nuclear power plants that have since been temporarily shut down, only 18 are currently under review to reopen, driving Japan’s need to look for alternative energy sources. As an island nation, Japan currently relies heavily on foreign imports of fossil fuels creating unstable energy dependence. METI’s strategic energy plan looks to create a resilient, realistic and multi-faceted energy security structure with a focus on increasing Japan’s self-sufficiency.
On June 12, the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at Brookings hosted an event looking at the future of Japanese energy policy. Toshikazu Okuya, director for the Energy Supply and Demand Policy Office at METI presented the Fourth Strategic Energy Plan of Japan. After his remarks, Mr. Okuya joined Scott Campbell, managing director at Baker Donelson and director of the Howard Baker Forum, which convenes the U.S.-Japan Roundtable; ESI Director Charles Ebinger; Isaac Edwards, senior counsel at the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and Adam Sieminski, administrator for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, for a panel discussion on Japan’s energy outlook. Mireya Solis, senior fellow with the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Philip Knight chair in Japan studies, moderated.
On the one hand the U.S. wants to be defending U.S. companies overseas and they are going to see this as vindictive, particularly in going after Apple’s profits retroactively. But in the bigger picture the U.S. is taking moves to fight inversions and improve the global system.