Japan has adopted a peaceful approach towards nuclear technology, limiting it to the use of supplying electricity. This is despite being the only nation to have suffered devastating effects of nuclear warfare. However, the 2011 tsunami triggered an accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant and dramatically changed public sentiment with widespread protests calling for the abandonment of this energy source. The balance between these demands and the use of reliable and affordable energy supply is significantly conditioning Japanese politics. Japan relied heavily on imports of fossil fuels while recovering from WWII. This vulnerability became critical in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis and led to diversification in Japan’s energy mix towards a significant use of nuclear energy. This trend was sustained during the following decades and even increased at the beginning of the 21st century due to environmental concerns. For example, in 2008, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) set the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 54 percent by 2050, and 90 percent by 2100. This would lead to nuclear power contributing around 60 percent of primary energy consumption by 2100 and being responsible for 51 percent of emission reduction. However, in July 2011, after the Fukushima accident, the Japanese government decided to shut down all its nuclear power plants. As a consequence by February 2012, electricity costs increased by 15 percent.
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