Energy in Japan and Transport in Japan
As of 2008, 46.4 percent of energy in Japan is produced from petroleum, 21.4 percent from coal, 16.7 percent from natural gas, 9.7 percent from nuclear power, and 2.9 percent from hydropower. Nuclear power produced 25.1 percent of Japan’s electricity, as of 2009. However, as of 5 May 2012, all of the country’s nuclear power plants had been taken offline because of ongoing public opposition following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, though government officials have been continuing to try to sway public opinion in favor of returning at least some of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors to service. Given its heavy dependence on imported energy, Japan has aimed to diversify its sources and maintain high levels of energy efficiency.
Japan’s road spending has been extensive. Its 1.2 million kilometers of paved road are the main means of transportation. A single network of high-speed, divided, limited-access toll roads connects major cities and is operated by toll-collecting enterprises. New and used cars are inexpensive; car ownership fees and fuel levies are used to promote energy efficiency. However, at just 50 percent of all distance traveled, car usage is the lowest of all G8 countries.
Dozens of Japanese railway companies compete in regional and local passenger transportation markets; major companies include seven JR enterprises, Kintetsu Corporation, Seibu Railway and Keio Corporation. Some 250 high-speed Shinkansen trains connect major cities and Japanese trains are known for their safety and punctuality. Proposals for a new Maglev route between Tokyo and Osaka are at an advanced stage. There are 173 airports in Japan; the largest domestic airport, Haneda Airport, is Asia’s second-busiest airport. The largest international gateways are Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chubu Centrair International Airport. Nagoya Port is the country’s largest and busiest port, accounting for 10 percent of Japan’s trade value.