The green transformation of Japan and some contours of the new national energy policy

Regional and branch economy

This review paper deals with the analysis of the latest energy policy of Japan, adopted for implementation at the end of 2021. The relevance of the study is supported by several factors. One of the key factors is the global agenda of decarbonization of economies and the entry of leading countries into the race to achieve carbon neutrality by reducing the amount of harmful substances emitted into the atmosphere, replacing traditional natural resources for energy production with renewable energy sources. Another important factor is ensuring the country’s energy security. Japan is the third largest economy in the world and the fifth largest energy consumer. As an island country with high seismic activity, without access to international gas pipelines or electricity, with limited reserves of natural resources and large energy needs for its developed industrial sector, the country faces significant energy security problems, relying on imports to meet 88% of its energy supplies. Such a situation is extremely dangerous for maintaining a stable life of the country, especially in the context of current geopolitical tensions and related disruptions in the supply of fossil energy sources. To achieve the set goals, Japanese government is preparing various framework documents containing both a general concept of the country’s energy development in the medium and long term, and specific measures and tasks, the solution of which should allow the country to get closer to achieving the set goals. This paper reviews the key strategies, plans and roadmaps that make it possible to understand the key direction of the country’s new energy policy, and also provides examples of specific initiatives in the field of green transformation from representatives of the country’s large corporate sector. The paper provides some conclusions of the analysis of the described measures and initiatives, as well as some possible problems that may arise during the implementation of the green innovation policy with some recommendations that can prevent or mitigate the consequences of these problems. The review showed that the Japanese government considers green transformation not only as a way to solve environmental problems through the introduction of the latest production technologies and reduction of harmful emissions, but also as one of the main drivers of the national economy and innovation, the sphere of development of both domestic cross-sectoral and international cooperation.