Aussie LNG an energy lifeline — for now

Nov 29, 2013

Aussie LNG an energy lifeline — for now

With its nuclear power plants mostly idled since the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan continues its quest to increase imports of liquefied natural gas, especially from Australia. By volume, Australia was Japan’s largest LNG supplier in fiscal 2012, exporting 17.06 million tons, ...

Nov 28, 2013

Flip-flop: LDP Okinawa branch backs Nago base

Reversing a campaign pledge, the Okinawa chapter of the Liberal Democratic Party now supports replacing the Futenma base in Ginowan with a new airstrip in Nago, bowing to intensifying pressure from Tokyo, Okinawa-based LDP members and local businesses seeking to profit from constructing the ...

Bullet trains on a pro-nuclear curve

| Nov 24, 2013

Bullet trains on a pro-nuclear curve

In the debate over the future of nuclear power, which provided about a third of Japan’s electricity needs before the Fukushima disaster began in 2011, commentators for and against resuming its use have argued their case. Experts on both sides often rely on arguments ...

Secrets bill raises fears among nuclear foes

| Nov 24, 2013

Secrets bill raises fears among nuclear foes

In late 2005, U.S. government officials, invited by Japan, observed a counterterrorism drill at the Mihama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture and came away worried about the security situation at the complex. Some 2,000 police officers, firefighters, nuclear power officials, local authorities and residents ...

Nago base rebuff heaps more pressure on Nakaima

Nov 20, 2013

Nago base rebuff heaps more pressure on Nakaima

With two months to go until its mayoral election, the Okinawa city of Nago said Tuesday it will formally request Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima not to approve an application to start dumping land into the sea off its Henoko coast for the planned replacement base ...

| Nov 16, 2013

Think caviar but brace for caveat

In one of the most memorable scenes of the late, and sorely missed, Juzo Itami’s classic 1985 film “Tampopo” (“Dandelion”), Japanese businessmen enter a French restaurant. Confused by the exotic items on the menu, the elderly members of the party stick to what they ...

Nov 8, 2013

Fukuoka issues warning on high PM2.5 levels

High levels of PM2.5 particulate matter were recorded Friday in parts of western Japan, prompting the city of Fukuoka to issue a warning amid growing concern that the pollution crisis in China will keep affecting Japan. In Osaka Prefecture, PM2.5 levels of 35 micrograms ...

Tepco feeling heat over fuel removal

Nov 5, 2013

Tepco feeling heat over fuel removal

With Tepco getting ready to start removing more than 1,000 fuel rod assemblies from a cooling pool at Fukushima No. 1, global pressure is mounting to allow an international task force to monitor and assist the highly hazardous operation.