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The chart above shows how Japan’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil has changed over time, dropping down below 70 percent following the oil crises and then rising again because non-Middle Eastern countries such as China and Mexico began reducing crude exports.

Since March 2011, nuclear generation in Japan has been gradually declining, and the country has replaced it with foreign fuels. Japan’s Institute for Energy Economics estimates that the country spent $50 billion more on fossil-fuel imports ($30 billion for electricity generation) in fiscal year 2011. That means it emitted around 2 percent more carbon dioxide than during 2010—while producing less energy.

If its reactors remain idle this year, predicts the Institute for Energy Economics, Japan will spend nearly $60 billion more than in 2011 on foreign oil, natural gas, and coal. And carbon-dioxide emissions could rise 5.5 percent.

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Tagged: Energy, Japan, nuclear energy, fukishima

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