(Yomiuri: July 19, 2015 – p. 2)
The cabinet has just approved the FY2014 “Energy White Paper.” This report points out that the increase in U.S. shale gas production “has had a tremendous impact on the global energy and political situation.” It offers the analysis that the Middle East and Russia, which have lost customers for their exports, now have a strong interest in Japan.
The White Paper further notes that Qatar, which has lost markets for its liquefied natural gas (LNG), is now selling LNG in the European and Asian markets. Europe is now less reliant on Russia, while Russia is probing the Asian market. It points out that the shale revolution will increase Japan’s imports of crude oil and natural gas from North America and this will contribute to the diversification of import sources and reduce geopolitical risks, which will “strengthen Japan’s energy security.” (Slightly abridged)