Japan does not have significant fossil fuel reserves so is dependent on imports, renewables and until recently nuclear. It is the world’s second largest oil importer, importing 5.5 million barrels of oil a day. It imports gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) from diverse other countries (including Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia and the Gulf States). After the 2011 tsunami and meltdown the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan closed all of its nuclear power stations and has been forced to further increase its import of fossil fuels. This despite the fact that the radiation has not caused any deaths. Japan has also increased its renewables since 2011, continuing its role as a world leader in solar technology. However, the government has realised that renewable expansion is not enough to leave the gap left by the nuclear closure. Leaving the reactors off is environmentally and economically unsustainable due to the high cost of importing fossil fuels and the high consequential greenhouse gas emissions of burning them. The government is therefore hoping to return to having a significant proportion of electricity generated from nuclear with the first reactor reopening scheduled for August 2015.
Total national greenhouse gas emissions as a percentage of global total, 2004 figures
2012 per capita annual greenhouse gas emissions
Energy used per unit of GDP (compared to USA)