On July 3, the government announced it would shut down about 100 coal-fired power plants by fiscal 2030. It was the first time the government had given a figure and a deadline for shutting down coal plants, which have long been an integral part of the nation’s industrial history and development. Here’s a look at that history and what the announcement could mean for Japan’s future energy policies.

How long has Japan used coal as an energy source?

Historical records show that the small-scale burning of coal goes back to at least the 16th century for household use.