Changes in Japan's Atomic Energy Policy and Historical Considerations of International Policy Cooperation: Implications for the introduction of nuclear power generation in the East Asian region

Author Name SAGARA Nozomi  (Former Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. September 2009 09-P-002
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In recent years, there has been revival of nuclear power generation across the world, which has been referred to as the Nuclear Power Renaissance. In East Asia, not only are there already 90 nuclear power plants operating in Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan, but emerging countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are also pushing ahead with plans to introduce nuclear power generation in the next seven to 13 years. Nuclear power-related policies have been emerging as an issue that should be handled from a panoramic perspective, running from an introductory phase to safety regulations after operation both domestically and worldwide. Under these circumstances, nuclear-related international policy cooperation is rapidly advancing on various levels, including international organizational, sub-global or regional, and bilateral levels. This study reviews the growing shift in favor of introducing nuclear power generation in section one. With a focus on East Asia, section two clarifies the history of Japan's nuclear energy policy and policy cooperation with neighboring countries from the 1950s to the present, as well as the ways in which the region has been affected by international arguments on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear power safety. Based on the above, the possibility of future policy cooperation in nuclear power generation in East Asia and the role of Japan are considered in section three.