The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan

Greetings from Chairman

Masakazu Toyoda

Masakazu Toyoda

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. I would like to thank everyone both in and outside of Japan for their support.

Overseas, the turmoil in the Middle East and Ukraine is worsening, while the slowing Chinese economy is overshadowing the global economy. Meanwhile, the drastic fall in oil prices, which is a major help for importing countries, is destabilizing some exporting countries and is threatening to delay investments in development. Oil prices are sure to rise again eventually, but nobody knows when.

Recently in Japan, the Energy Mix was officially finalized, and under the new regulation standards, two nuclear power plants have restarted, but the restart of two other plants has been halted due to the provisional injunction issued by the Otsu District Court. Meanwhile, safety assessments by the Nuclear Regulation Authority are proceeding slowly but steadily. The confusion in energy policies in the wake of the nuclear accident is gradually clearing, but it will not be easy to actually achieve the ideal Energy Mix. There are many goals to be met, including the ambitious energy conservation target, lowering the cost of renewable energies, restoring confidence in nuclear power plants, the nuclear backend measures, and keeping the liberalization of electricity and gas systems compatible with the Energy Mix.

Energy is an essential foundation of economic activity, yet Japan has very few energy resources, with a domestic energy ratio of just 6%. Securing a stable supply of energy at rational prices is a prerequisite for the growth of the Japanese economy. Meanwhile, appropriate measures must be taken to prevent global warming. These factors, collectively called the "3Es" (energy security, economic efficiency and environmental conservation) concern not only Japan but also all countries including the growth centers of Asia. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent, the situation in Japan and Asia will have a greater impact on other countries.

The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) has established a solid reputation in both Japan and overseas by formulating appropriate policy proposals on energy and the environment, which are based on objective analyses and the latest forecasts, by developing its human resources and strengthening ties with domestic and overseas organizations. We are highly honored to be ranked first this year among all energy and resource policy think tanks in a world ranking by the University of Pennsylvania. We will continue to steadily seek optimum solutions for contributing to economic growth, viewing the energy issue and climate change as two sides of the same coin and leveraging our close links with governments, experts and research agencies of both Japan and other countries. I sincerely hope that our timely analyses and policy proposals will help shape government policies and corporate strategies. In July and December each year, the IEEJ releases an analysis report on the short-term supply and demand for energy in Japan. Every October, it releases the "Asia/World Energy Outlook", which makes policy suggestions for Asia and the world for the medium to long term. We hope that these reports will help clarify the energy situation and be used to build policies and strategies for the future.

Taking the 50th anniversary as a good opportunity, the IEEJ will extend its activities in research and policy and strategy advice. I hope that our associates both in Japan and abroad will continue to support us in the future.

Masakazu Toyoda
Chairman & CEO
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
April 2016