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15 - The Politics of Energy and Climate Change in Japan under the Abe Government

from Part IV - Third Arrow of Abenomics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2021

Takeo Hoshi
Affiliation:
University of Tokyo
Phillip Y. Lipscy
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

The March 11, 2011, Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami led to a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, leading many observers to predict a major transformation of Japanese energy policy. However, since the 2012 election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has restarted its nuclear reactors, weakened subsidies for renewable energy, and submitted emissions reduction goals under the Paris Agreement widely criticized as insufficient and reliant on accounting gimmicks. Under what we call Abenergynomics, Abe used energy policy as a tool to support the economic growth objectives of Abenomics, even when the associated policies were publicly unpopular, opposed by utility companies, or harmful to the environment. We show how Abenergynomics shaped Japanese policy toward nuclear power, electricity deregulation, renewable energy, and global climate change negotiations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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