Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may seek to secure natural gas supplies from Mozambique during a three-nation African tour this week, the first visit to the continent by a Japanese leader in almost eight years.
Japan, the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, has been seeking new energy sources after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The world’s third-largest economy has been without nuclear power, which accounts for about a quarter of its energy needs, since September as all of the country’s 50 reactors have been shut pending safety reviews.
“Since the Fukushima accident, Japan’s imports of natural gas for electricity generation have risen enormously, including from Africa,” Katsumi Hirano, head researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies, an affiliate of the Japan External Trade Organization in Chiba Prefecture, said in a phone interview on Jan 8. “The development of natural gas is an extremely important matter for security and the national interest.”[Read full article]