The Kyoto Prefectural Government signed an agreement with Alaska last month to explore the possibility of importing liquid natural gas from the state to Maizuru, a port city on the Sea of Japan.
While daunting financial and bureaucratic challenges mean it will still be a while before Alaskan LNG flows to Kyoto, the agreement represents a step forward for Kyoto to achieve a larger goal: ending prefectural dependence on nuclear power by 2040.
The strategy, as outlined by Kyoto Gov. Keiji Yamada, calls for building up LNG facilities at Maizuru and installing new LNG pipelines in the Kansai region. The prefecture envisions Maizuru supplying not only Kyoto, but other prefectures in the region with gas to replace Fukui Prefecture's nuclear power plants as a major source of electricity.