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Energy

Japan's dependence on fossil fuel reaches new high

A government report from Japan has shown the Asian country's dependence on fossil fuels has reached a new peak. Tokyo said the figures spoke in favor of restarting at least some of the nation's nuclear power plants.

Japan's dependence on fossil fuels for its electricity needs climbed to 88 percent in fiscal 2003, a government report revealed Tuesday. That was up from the 62 percent logged shortly before the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet said the figures underscored the importance of nuclear power generation, citing growing fuel costs for thermal power and a drastic rise in carbon dioxide emissions.

All of Japan's nuclear reactors have remained offline amid concerns about atomic energy after the worst nuclear accident in the country some three years ago.

Ongoing concerns

The latest opinion poll by Jiji Press showed that 51.9 percent of respondents opposed restarts of nuclear reactors categorically.

Japan's renewable solution

But an economic growth plan developed by Abe's government envisages restarting a number of nuclear power stations, provided they pass tougher safety checks imposed after the Fukushima disaster.

Imports of fuels such as liquefied natural gas nearly tripled to $264 billion (194.7 billion euros) in 2013 as a result of Japan's greater dependence on thermal power generation.

hg/nz (dpa, Reuters)

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