FAST FIVE: The World's Third-Largest Economy Is Facing A Looming Energy Crisis
“A confluence of factors, including the higher fuel prices since the war and the tumbling currency, is putting a significant pressure on Japan's energy security, making this one of the most serious energy crises Japan has had,” said Jane Nakano, a senior fellow at Washington-based think tank the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Because of its extreme dependence on imported energy, Japan has had to continue importing Russian oil and gas despite its verbal commitment to sanctions against Moscow.
Recently, the head of one of the biggest shipping companies in Asia, Mitsui OSK Lines, said that Japan has no choice but to continue importing Russian LNG, citing the country's nuclear plants that are still offline after the Fukushima tragedy and soaring energy prices.
“We cannot use many nuclear power stations therefore the supply and demand balance of the power industry is quite tight,” Takeshi Hashimoto told the Financial Times earlier this month.
That is one of the reasons why Japan is so reluctant to stop the LNG imports from Russia.” It could be because of its heavy energy import bill that Japan proposed to the G7 to cap Russian oil export prices at half the current rate.