The Annual Report on Energy (also known as the "Energy White Paper") summarizes the measures on energy supply and demand that the Government of Japan conducted in the previous fiscal year. It is submitted to the Diet pursuant to Article 11 of the Basic Act on Energy Policy (Act No. 71 of 2002). On June 6, 2023, a Cabinet Decision was made on the Energy White Paper 2023.
Outline of the report
Each year, the Energy White Paper describes the energy trends and the status of measures taken regarding energy supply and demand in the previous fiscal year. In addition to these data, this year's paper introduces data focusing on the following.
Outline of the 2023 report
(1) Progress in reconstruction of Fukushima
Effective June 2022, the evacuation order was lifted by the Government of Japan for the specified reconstruction and revitalization base areas in Katsurao Village, Okuma Town, Futaba Town, Namie Town, Tomioka Town and Iitate Village. In particular, this permitted residents of Futaba Town to return home in August 2022 for the first time since the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Concerning the handling of ALPS treated water, a Ministerial Meeting was held in January 2023 and the timing for discharging the water into the sea was determined to be “likely around the spring to summer of 2023.”
Concerning the retrieval of fuel debris, which is cooled, solidified matter remaining after the meltdown, Japan has made progress in the investigation of the inside of primary containment vessels using underwater ROV.
(2) Challenges and responses involving energy security
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused Europe, which relied on Russia for its energy supply, to increase imports of LNG at a rapid pace. This has changed the global energy situation significantly, causing energy prices to soar to a crisis level. For example, Germany faced a temporary 10-fold surge in the import price of natural gas compared to the base price in January 2020.
Demand for LNG in Europe is forecast to continue to increase. The global “LNG war" is expected to peak around 2025 but is not expected to end in a short period of time. In the G7 Ministers' Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo held in April 2023, G7 ministers stated the need for natural gas and LNG in the Ministers’ Communiqué.
In Japan as well, the import price of natural gas nearly doubled from that of January 2020, and electricity and other charges increased dramatically. As Japan procures most of its LNG under long-term contracts at prices linked to the oil price, increases in LNG prices were not as high as in Europe. Nevertheless, Japan faces an imminent energy crisis, which might be the tensest situation it has had to deal with since the oil crisis in the 1970s.
(3) Challenges and actions toward realizing green transformation (GX)
Against this backdrop, Europe and the U.S. are striving to secure stable energy supply, while at the same time advancing measures to support investment for decarbonization. For example, the U.S. has provided a support measure at the level of 50 trillion yen under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Japan is also making similar efforts. In February 2023, a Cabinet Decision was made on the Basic Policy for the Realization of GX to achieve both enhanced industrial competitiveness and decarbonization with the basic premise of securing stable energy supply.
Outline of The Basic Policy for the Realization of GX
Promote efforts for GX to secure stable energy supply, including not only promoting energy efficiency but also shifting to decarbonized power sources, such as renewable energy and nuclear power that contribute to an increase of Japan’s energy self-sufficiency rate.
Realize and implement the Pro-Growth Carbon Pricing Concept in order to accomplish more than 150 trillion yen of public and private GX investments in the next decade.
Division in Charge
Research and Public Relations Office, Policy Planning and Coordination Division, Commissioner’s Secretariat, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy