May 31, 2003



Keywords: Newsletter 

JFS Newsletter No.9 (May 2003)

(1) Total energy consumption
Japan's total energy demand increased from 285 million kiloliters (oil equivalent) in 1973 to 349 million in 1990, then to 405 million in 2000. The increase is mainly attributed to people's desire for convenience and affluent lifestyles.

The graph that can be viewed at this government website shows that Japan's energy demand has been increasing constantly despite ups and downs of the economic cycle, with only two exceptions (after the two major oil shocks in the 1973 and 1978).

(2) Energy consumption per unit of GDP
Japan became more efficient, with energy consumption per unit of GDP dropping from the 100 level in 1973 to around 65 in the 1980s after the two oil shocks, but this measure increased just slightly since then, to 67 in 2000.

In terms of energy consumption per unit of economic activity, Japan is among the most energy-efficient countries in the world. The figures for selected countries shown below represent the total supply of primary energy (oil equivalent, in million metric tons) divided by gross domestic product in trillion U.S. dollars (at 1995 prices after foreign exchange adjustment).


(3) Energy consumption by sector
The breakdown of total energy consumption by sector indicates increases in the share of consumption in the non-industrial and transport sectors.

Industrial sector66%53%49%
Non-industrial sector18%24%27%
Transport sector16%23%24%

The increase of energy consumption in each sector from 1973 to 2000 (1973=100) indicates particularly rapid increases in the household and passenger transport sectors.

Industrial sector106
Non-industrial sector207
Business sector189
Household sector226
Transport sector209
Freight transport sector148
Passenger transport sector270

(4) Energy consumption by energy source in the household sector
The table below shows that the most significant increase has occurred in electricity consumption (LPG=liquefied petroleum gas).

Kerosene32.8%27.0% 14.1%

What do people use electricity for at home? According to 1999 statistics, here is the breakdown:

Room cooler10.4%
Electric carpet3.9%
Warm water washing toilet3.1%
Clothes dryer2.6%
Dish washer/dryer1.0%

Note: Air-conditioner is for heating and cooling, and room cooler is just for cooling.

Here are some of examples of years when the diffusion rates of household appliances in Japanese homes reached certain milestones over the years. (Exceeding 100 percent means more refrigerators than the total number of households in the country.)

1972Refrigerators passed 100 percent
1980Room coolers passed 50 percent
1984Second television passed 50 percent
1987Microwave ovens passed 50 percent
1992Room coolers passed 100 percent

With such rapid and extensive growth in the presence of household electric appliances, coupled with a trend toward the use of bigger appliances with more features, household electricity consumption has been increasing rapidly.

(5) Energy consumption in the passenger transport sector
Between 1973 and 1996, the energy consumption by passenger vehicles, buses and railroads to carry commercial has not changed, but for private use in passenger cars it has increased by 303 percent, a major cause of energy consumption increase in the passenger transport sector.

Energy consumption by aircraft has increased threefold between 1973 and 1996, although this category accounts for only about 6 percent of the passenger transport sector.

The table below shows the percentage of energy consumption and actual transportation in 1996.

Energy consumptionTransport
Passenger cars87.1%59.4%

Passenger cars use almost 90 percent of the energy for less than 60 percent of all passenger transportation. In contrast, railroads, with 3.5 percent of energy consumption in this category, account for almost 30 percent.

(6) Energy saving policies of the government of Japan
59.4% The government of Japan has hammered out measures for each of the greenhouse gases in order to fulfill its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to achieve a 6 percent reduction from 1990 emission levels. The government's "Guidelines for Measures to Prevent Global Warming," revised in March 2002, are aimed at containing CO2 emissions from energy consumption to the 1990 level and establish four pillars of measures and activities, including energy conservation, new energy, fuel switching, and the promotion of nuclear power.

In the Guidelines, the main strategy to reduce CO2 emissions on the energy demand side is to maximize energy conservation. Specifically, for the non-industrial sector the primary measures include improving the efficiency of appliances, energy management, and energy conservation of houses and buildings; in the transport sector the primary measures include modal shift, efficiency improvements of logistics, and the promotion of public transportation systems.

According to the Guidelines, the government expects to cut approximately 57 million kiloliters (oil equivalent) of consumption by 2010 by implementing these measures.

The government policies and specific measures for energy conservation can be found at the website of Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.

Also, the Energy Conservation Center, established in 1978, provides various information, case studies and guidance for factories, buildings, households, and transport, as well as information on product labels that indicate energy efficiency. It also offers advice by electronic mail to promote energy saving activities in various sectors.

The JFS Information Center has many articles about activities in transport sector, including the following:
Rail/Bus Corporate Campaign Reduces CO2 Emissions
Better Driving Saves 18,000 Yen in Gas Annually
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Promotes Next-Generation "Eco-Ships"
Sharp Accelerates "Modal Shift"
Oki Reduces Its Distribution CO2 Emissions
Electronic Equipment and IT Companies Reorganize Distribution Systems
Nagoya City to Ban Car Commuting by Public Employees
MLIT Publishes Manual for Environmentally-Responsible Logistics Management Systems
Food Delivery Truck to Collect Vegetable Waste

The government expects that investing in advanced energy-saving equipment and facilities will foster new economic growth, enabling the country to pursue objectives in both ecology and economy.

The public is counting on the government to implement a range of measures to make further progress, and the private sector will probably continue to try to curb its energy demand in the pursuit of cost reductions. The JFS Information Center adds new articles every day, many of them relating to energy. So please check our website regularly!