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Stephen Stapczynski
For Stephen Stapczynski's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
A Tokyo Gas Co. storage tank at the company's Setagaya facility in Tokyo
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Jan 12, 2024
World trying to quit fossil fuels gets flood of gas instead
Formerly a sluggish sector, global events spurred LNG's expansion
A hydrogen storage tank and loading system at a liquefied hydrogen receiving terminal in Kobe
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 27, 2023
U.K. concerned about Japan’s co-firing plans to curb emissions
The move 'prolongs the life of coal plants and leads to emissions,' said the head of climate change and energy at the British Embassy in Tokyo.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been meeting with Japanese buyers, as well as overseas suppliers, to urge the signing of more long-term LNG contracts.
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 21, 2023
Japan urges LNG buyers to sign long-term deals for fuel security
The push is meant to insulate Japan from future supply shocks, as well as potentially harsher sanctions against Russian fuel exports.
A liquefied natural gas tanker is tugged toward a thermal power station in Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture, in November 2017
BUSINESS
Sep 20, 2023
Japan’s dwindling LNG inventories could prompt new purchases
Storage held by Japan’s power suppliers fell to 1.62 million tons as of Sept. 17, according to data compiled by the trade ministry.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jul 6, 2023
Japan in talks to buy gas from Qatar amid diversification shift
Qatar is currently offering prices that Japanese firms deem as too high, a key issue that may ultimately scuttle discussions.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 25, 2023
Gas is here to stay for decades, say fossil fuel heavyweights
Seen as a short-term bridge to greener energy sources, environmentalists have sought to phase out LNG amid worries that it's far dirtier than advertised.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
May 2, 2023
The inside story of Buffett’s big Japan bet, over glasses of Coke at Four Seasons
The billionaire investor's visit is seen as an important vote of confidence in Japan’s big five traders as they pivot away from fossil fuels.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 21, 2023
Enough wind power for a major city snarled in Vietnam’s red tape
Across the country, there is 3.5 gigawatts of potential energy in turbines that have either been built but are sitting idle, or are still under construction.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Feb 6, 2023
Adani’s crisis points to big risk in India's net-zero plan
Adani’s rapid downfall may undermine investor confidence in India more broadly, threatening to curb capital flows into the nation for green financing.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 27, 2022
Japan firms agree on long-term LNG deals with U.S. and Oman in fossil fuel reversal
The agreements, driven by high prices, mark a shift for importers that had been moving away from such deals, expecting a transition to cleaner energy sources to reduce gas demand.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Oct 19, 2022
Cost of green hydrogen to match LNG within a decade, French utility says
Interest in hydrogen is rapidly growing amid a global effort to cut dependence on coal and natural gas.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 15, 2022
Weak yen threatens runaway power bills for Japanese households
Several Japanese utilities — which buy overseas fuel in dollars to produce electricity — are considering asking the government to allow them to raise prices further and remove curbs.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Aug 27, 2022
Global energy crisis spurs a revival of nuclear power in Asia
Governments in Japan and South Korea are removing anti-nuclear policies, while China and India are looking to build more reactors to avoid future supply shortages and curb emissions.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Aug 19, 2022
Poorer nations face unrest as wealthy countries snap up fuel
Already, gas deliveries that were scheduled for Pakistan or India are being redirected to Europe, where buyers are able to afford higher prices.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Aug 1, 2022
Singapore signals male-sex ban review won’t allow gay marriage
The country has grappled with how to make its society more inclusive of the LGBT community even as some countries around the world move toward recognizing same-sex marriages.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Jul 2, 2022
Russia’s move on Sakhalin-2 gas plant intensifies competition for fuel
Russia's move to reshuffle ownership of the project may constrict global markets even more by pushing Japan to compete with Europe for alternative sources of supply.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jul 1, 2022
Putin’s swoop on Sakhalin-2 gas plant could force Shell and Japan firms out
Firms have one month to say whether they'll take stakes in the new company, and those who opt out may not be fully compensated, the statement said.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jun 14, 2022
Europe's plan to quit Russian fuel plunges Pakistan into darkness
Parts of Pakistan are experiencing planned blackouts of more than 12 hours, limiting the effectiveness of air conditioning to offer relief during the ongoing heatwave.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 25, 2022
Russia’s war is turbocharging the world’s addiction to coal
Demand had already been on the rise since last year amid a natural gas shortage and as electricity use surged after pandemic restrictions were rolled back.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Apr 22, 2022
China's interest in Shell's Russian gas stake adds impetus for Japan to stay
Exiting Russian LNG projects would force Japan to source replacement fuel from the already tight spot market, threatening to boost prices that are trading near record-high levels.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?