Japanese Member Committee

日本動力協会

Japan Power Association (JPA), the forerunner of current Japan Energy Association (JEA), was established in 1927 in response to the foundation of World Power Conference. JPA was dissolved in April, 1944, during World War II. In 1950, JPA was established as an incorporated organization, and a year later, in 1951 Japan rejoined the World Energy Council, and set up the Japanese Member Committee. JEA’s core activities include research on energy issues and gathering of information to promote more efficient energy use. Its goal is to contribute to the activities of all energy industries and energy-related stakeholders.

Mr. Teruaki Masumoto has been Chairman of the Japan Energy Association, WEC Japanese Member Committee, since May 2008. In 1962, Mr Masumoto received a BA (Hons) in Political Science and Economics from Waseda University, before going on to join TEPCO. He has devoted his career to the field of corporate communication for environment issues. He worked at Japan Center for Economic Research as an economist (1968-1970). His previous roles within TEPCO included Director of Corporate Communications (1995-1999); Managing Director (1999-2001); and Executive Vice President (2001-2004). He was also Vice Chairman of The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan in 2004. In addition to serving on the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Mr Masumoto was a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum. He also acts as an advisor to the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) on Climate Change.Teruaki Masumoto has been Chairman of the Japan Energy Association, WEC Japanese Member Committee, since May 2008. In 1962, Mr. Masumoto received a BA (Hons) in Political Science and Economics from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, before going on to join TEPCO. He has devoted his career to the field of corporate communication for environment issues. He worked at Japan Center for Economic Research as an economist (1968-1970). His previous roles within TEPCO included Director of Corporate Communications (1995-1999); Managing Director (1999-2001); and Executive Vice President (2001-2004). He was also Vice Chairman of The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan in 2004. In addition to serving on the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Mr. Masumoto was a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum. He also acts as an advisor to the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) on Climate Change.

Dr. Hideaki Tanaka has been secretary general of WEC Japanese Member Committee since May 2010. He received the B.E. and M.S. in electrical engineering and PhD in environment and energy engineering from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, in 1974, 1976 and 2010, respectively. He joined the Tokyo Electric Power Company in 1976. After starting his career as a substation engineer, he had mainly dedicated himself to bulk-power system planning and operation. After retiring from TEPCO in 2010, he started working for the Japan Energy Association, which also serves as the Japanese Member Committee of WEC. His current technical interests are the asset management on aged transmission facilities and the way to prevent cascading blackouts. He has been teaching power system stability analysis as a part-time lecturer at Waseda University for about 30 years. Dr. Tanaka is a member or IEE of Japan and IEEE.

Energy in Japan 

japan, critical uncertainties, action priorities

Comparing 2019 and 2020 results, Japan’s energy leaders continue to see a Critical Uncertainties landscape defined by issues such as Large-Scale Accidents, Nuclear and Extreme Weather Risks. At the same time, the Hydrogen Economy is identified with much higher impact, entering the Critical Uncertainties section. Action Priorities remain consistent, led by Climate Framework, Data AI, China and Decommissioning.

Large-Scale Accidents remain the highest Critical Uncertainty, aligned with perceptions around extreme weather risks. In 2019, extensive areas of Japan were hit by a number of massive typhoons, which caused long-term blackouts near Tokyo and intensified concerns about the impacts of climate change. Japan has long been earthquake-prone and at risk of volcanic eruptions. In this context, the public and private sectors have started work on enhancing infrastructure resilience against these risks.

Nuclear also persists in the Uncertainties section. The regulation of nuclear power reactors has become more stringent since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident. The NRA has taken a stricter line on restarting nuclear power plants but is criticised for an overdue safety review, leading to delays. Additionally, decommissioning has become a big issue as 24 reactors which have been in operation for over 40 years will be soon decommissioned.

Hydrogen Economy is seen with greater impact and becomes a Critical Uncertainty. Currently, there is a shared view that reduced LNG and coal should compensate for the loss of nuclear capacity. At the same time, there is awareness that the carbon economy is harmful in the long run. To address this issue, Japan’s government has started to promote technological innovation in developing a hydrogen economy. In 2019, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier tanker was launched in Japan to transport grey hydrogen from Australia.

Climate Framework is seen as an issue of lower uncertainty and becomes an Action Priority. There is growing concern that the frequency and impact of extreme weather such as heavy rains and super typhoons due to climate change may increase further. In Japan, it is widely recognised that setting ambitious goals and pursuing swift action to implement the Paris agreement is essential.

China remains in the Action Priority space. As the world’s largest market, China continues to develop at a fast pace and its growth rate has an impact on neighbouring countries’ economies. Japan’s energy leaders worry about recent trade conflicts between China and the United States that could negatively impact economies in the northeast Asian region.

Data AI also continues to be perceived as an Action Priority. Big Data and AI are seen as essential components of digitalisation in the energy sector and new businesses and services Various attempts are being made in collaboration with IT companies, including start-ups. Experts say that cyber security should also be strengthened in the digitalisation era.

With an energy self-sufficiency ratio of about 6%, promotion of nuclear energy is indispensable to Japan’s energy industry. In addition to finding ways to reduce its dependence on imports, Japan energy leaders must keep a close eye to shifting domestic energy consumption structure. It is also crucial that leaders focus on decarbonising their energy mix, digitalising and preparing for potential large-scale accidents.

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