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Abstract

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of domestic political concerns, energy security challenges, and its ability to meet climate change commitments and targets. Nuclear power plants have started to come back online, but there is still a question regarding the scope and timing for restarting the remaining reactors. In this paper, we apply a model of collective decision-making processes (CDMPs) to assess the political will for restarting nuclear power plants in Japan. We find that:

  • There is growing political will among Japanese stakeholders to restart nuclear reactors for power generation. Over the next several years, the current political trajectory indicates political acceptance of nuclear power among municipal and prefecture political leaders, who are currently the most significant and consequential opponents to nuclear power. Local governments have the ability to block the restart of nuclear power plants.
  • The process of regaining national support for nuclear power in Japan is expected to take several years of domestic political debate.
  • The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) appears to be a credible and effective voice in building political acceptance of restarting nuclear power plants, given enough time. However, it is important that the NRA maintains its role as an unbiased and fact-based entity, to maintain its credibility with opponents to nuclear power.
  • Despite the turbulence in Japanese politics in 2017, the trend of slowly growing political will in favor of nuclear power appears to be largely unchanged.

Authors

Brian Efird

Brian Efird

Program Director Dr. Brian Efird is the program director for Policy and Decision Science. He manages a multidisciplinary, multi-national team of researchers…

Expertise

  • Behavioral modeling
  • geopolitics
  • defense and national security studies
  • human geography
  • and strategic communication

Publications See all Brian Efird’s publications

Energy Governance in China: The Structures and Processes of Government Decision-Making

Energy Governance in China: The Structures and Processes of Government Decision-Making

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of…

May 14, 2019
Iran Sanctions: Implications for the Oil Market

Iran Sanctions: Implications for the Oil Market

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of…

May 9, 2019
Saleh Al Muhanna

Saleh Al Muhanna

Research Analyst Saleh is a senior research analyst in the Policy and Decision Science program. His interests lie in geopolitical research, international…

Expertise

  • Political theory
  • geopolitics
  • and international trade.

Publications See all Saleh Al Muhanna’s publications

The Political Feasibility of Enhancing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets in the European Union’s Mid-Century Strategy

The Political Feasibility of Enhancing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets in the European Union’s Mid-Century Strategy

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of…

August 22, 2019
The Policymaking Process to Restart Japanese Nuclear Power Plants

The Policymaking Process to Restart Japanese Nuclear Power Plants

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of…

December 31, 2018
Imtenan Al-Mubarak

Imtenan Al-Mubarak

Research Associate Imtenan is a research associate in KAPSARC’s Policy and Decision Science program focusing on energy and economic policy research with an…

Expertise

  • Data science
  • machine learning
  • industry and entrepreneurship
  • game theory
  • bargaining models
  • behavioral analysis
  • policy assessment
  • geopolitics
  • GCC energy policies and economics
  • and transition management.

Publications See all Imtenan Al-Mubarak’s publications

The Policymaking Process to Restart Japanese Nuclear Power Plants

The Policymaking Process to Restart Japanese Nuclear Power Plants

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of…

December 31, 2018
The Economics of Renewable Energy in the Gulf

The Economics of Renewable Energy in the Gulf

The Japanese government’s decision to continue restarting nuclear power is shaped by a combination of…

October 17, 2018
Shahad Turkistani

Shahad Turkistani

Head of the Visiting Fellow Program and Assistant Researcher Shahad is head of the Visiting Fellow Program and an assistant researcher at the Asian Studies Unit at the King…

Faisal Al-Ghamdi

Faisal Al-Ghamdi

Former Research Associate Faisal is a former research associate in the Policy and Decision Science team, focusing on geopolitical analysis and national security…

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