One of the largest economies in the world, Japan has long been a major consumer and importer of energy and a recognised leader in energy technology development. Japan’s energy policy has been dominated in recent years by its efforts to overcome the fallout from the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident. One consequence of the accident was a gradual shutdown of all nuclear power plants, which has led to a significant rise in fossil fuels use, increased fuel imports and rising carbon dioxide emissions. It has also brought electricity prices to unsustainable levels.
Faced with these challenges, the government of Japan has revised its energy policy in recent years to focus on further diversifying its energy mix (less use of fossil fuels, more reliance on renewable energy, restarting nuclear plants when declared safe) and curbing carbon emissions. Building on these plans, Japan has outlined ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26% between 2013 and 2030.
This emissions reduction commitment requires a balancing act between energy security, economic efficiency, environmental protection and safety. This International Energy Agency (IEA) review of Japan’s policies highlights three areas that are critical to its success: energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy supply and restarting nuclear power generation. The IEA encourages Japan to increase low-carbon sources of power supply. It also recognises that nuclear power can only be restored provided that the highest safety standards are met and the critical issues following the Fukushima accident are addressed, including decontaminating areas affected by the radioactive release and regaining public trust.
This review analyses the energy policy challenges facing Japan and provides recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure, sustainable and affordable energy future.
English, PDF, 513kb
This country note provides an environmental tax and carbon pricing profile for Japan. It shows environmentally related tax revenues, taxes on energy use and effective carbon rates.
The Nuclear Energy Agency carried out an independent peer review of Japan’s siting process and criteria for the geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste in May 2016. The review concluded that Japan’s site screening process is generally in accordance with international practices. As the goal of the siting process is to locate a site – that is both appropriate and accepted by the community – to host a geological disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste, the international review team emphasises in this report the importance of maintaining an open dialogue and interaction between the regulator, the implementer and the public. Dialogue should begin in the early phases and continue throughout the siting process. The international review team also underlines the importance of taking into account feasibility aspects when selecting a site for preliminary investigations, but suggests that it would be inappropriate to set detailed scientific criteria for nationwide screening at this stage. The team has provided extensive advisory remarks in the report as opportunities for improvement, including the recommendation to use clear and consistent terminology in defining the site screening criteria as it is a critical factor in a successful siting process.
The OECD/Korea Policy Centre fosters the exchange of technical information and policy experiences relating to the Asia Pacific region in areas such as health statistics, pension reforms and social policy and expenditure.
This database provides information on environmentally related taxes, fees and charges, tradable permit systems, deposit refund systems, environmentally motivated subsidies and voluntary approaches used in environmental policy in OECD member countries and a number of other countries. Developed in co-operation between the OECD and the European Environment Agency.
English, PDF, 511kb
The labour market in Japan weathered the global financial and economic crisis relatively well. At 68% in May 2016, total employment as a share of the population aged 15-74 in Japan is both well above its pre-crisis level and one of the highest among all OECD countries. The OECD projects further increases in the employment rate during 2016 and 2017.
This page contains all information relating to implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Japan.
The OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Transactions has continuously urged Japan since 2002 to strengthen its efforts to fight bribery by Japanese companies in their foreign business activities, and implementation of the Convention on Combating the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.
A high-level Working Group mission will visit Tokyo on 29-30 June 2016 and meet senior Japanese government officials.
In December 2014, the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions agreed to send a High Level Mission to Japan due to longstanding serious concerns about Japan’s implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.