Japan Digs Deep for Alternative Energy
The announcement in January that Japan suffered a record trade deficit in 2013 caused consternation in Tokyo, with analysts pointing to the need to import fossil fuels as the biggest single factor in the nation’s economic slump.
The annual deficit spiked to 11.47 trillion yen (112.07 billion US dollars), up 65.3 percent on the previous year, due in large part to the demand from industry and households for crude oil and liquefied natural gas, all of which have to be imported.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says it is committed to restarting nuclear reactors idled since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and weaning the country off energy imports. But with the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant still fresh in local residents’ memories, there is little likelihood of the nation’s 50 reactors being switched back on in the near future.
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