Japanese Energy Security Revisited
Facing the surge of "resource nationalism" in energy-producing countries and the rapid growth of energy demand in China and India, the Japanese government has decided to play an active role in securing its energy import, which decision seems to have received the solid support of the people. Effective support by the government to business, needless to say, is welcomed. However, experience teaches that excessive intervention in energy procurement by non-business sectors would do no good and a lot of harm for Japan's stable energy supply in the future. Furthermore, foreseeing a future energy balance in Japan, the country should refrain from engaging in the so-called "scramble for energy" occurring globally. This paper sets out in detail the argument that it is in Japan's best interests to eliminate to as great an extent as possible any political dimension from an energy product such as oil in order to reduce its importance as a strategic commodity and strengthen its characteristics as a market commodity.