as well as expand the smart-grid and district heating systems that are core network infrastructures for a low-carbon economy . Moreover, the Abe regime is adopting new governance mechanisms , including inter-ministerial task forces and widening the ambit of local public corporations, to accelerate the deployment of renewables . In addition, de facto energy policymaking is becoming more inclusive, eroding the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry’s (METI) dominance while simultaneously advantaging pro-renewable factions in other ministries as well as within METI itself. These claims will surely seem dubious, if not absurd, in light of Abe’s support for nuclear energy and the recent restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor in the face of majority public opposition.1 Indeed, most Japanese left-liberal commentary on the Abe regime’s energy strategy – especially as codified in the 2014 Energy Basic Plan and its targets for 2030 – derides it as reliant on nuclear and coal,2 inadequately supportive of efficiency, and “less accommodating to renewables” than the previous Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration.3 Some overseas analysts also dismiss Japan’s hydrogen strategy as a “fraud” based on “low-grade coal” in Australia.4The present article argues that the dismissive approach overlooks important fiscal, organizational and other evidence, which we shall explore below. The LDP’s green-energy proponents aim at revitalizing local economies through renewable energy, growing strategic sectors of the economy, bolstering national security (especially energy security), enhancing resilience in the face of natural and other disasters, as well as dealing with the threat of climate change . Their ranks include such LDP heavyweights as Ishiba Shigeru, current Minister for Local Revitalization and possibly the next LDP President. Given their conservative politics, they are elaborating a national- security, “local revitalization”-focused paradigm of green power, quite distinct from the idealistic, small- is-beautiful emphasis common among Japan’s left-liberal proponents of renewable energy. Yet the LDP’s approach to diffusing renewables also centres on local-government agency, which could not only accelerate the diffusion of renewable energy but also bolster Japanese democracy in the bargain. In light of the alarming state of global climate change, energy markets, and economic inequality, this article asserts that what the LDP are doing is far too important to ignore.
Energy (natural gas) Japan says no—past tensions over natural gas mining prove Kyodo News International 13 (Japan Opposes China’s gas development near contested waters, July 3, 2013, - chinas-gas-development-near-contested-wa)//SJ Japan expressed opposition Wednesday to exploitation by China of a possible natural gas field that may stretch into the seabed under contested waters in the East China Sea . " We conveyed our serious concerns (to the Chinese side)
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