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ABSTRACT. For much of the 20th century, economic growth was fueled by cheap oil-based energy supply. Due to increasing resource constraints, however, the political and strategic importance of oil has become a significant part of energy and foreign policy making in East and Southeast Asian countries. In Japan, the rise of China’s economic and military power is a source of considerable concern. To enhance energy security, the Japanese government has amended its energy regulatory framework, which reveals high political awareness of risks resulting from the looming key resources shortage and competition over access. An essential understanding that national energy security is a politically and economically sensitive area with a clear international dimension affecting everyday life is critical in shaping Japan’s energy future. The direction of the country’s nuclear future after the 11 March 2011 triple disaster including the malfunctioning of the Fukushima nuclear power plant is still unclear. pp. 34–47

Keywords: Japan, energy security, oil, regulatory framework

THOMAS FELDHOFF
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Goethe University Frankfurt

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