The Triple Disaster of March 2011 and Its Impact on Japanese Politics and Economy

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1. The triple disaster of March 2011 and its impact on Japanese politics and economy The triple disaster: earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident. The earthquake and tsunami caused extensive and severe structural damage in north-eastern Japan, including heavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in many areas, and a dam collapse. Naoto Kan said, "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan." Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water. The tsunami caused nuclear accidents, primarily the level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, and the…show more content…
Rebuilding will lift the economy a bit, but it will be outweighed by the probable increase to the national debt -- already twice as big as Japan 's annual economic output.
The quake and tsunami damaged or closed down key ports, and some airports shut briefly. This disrupted the global supply chain of semiconductor equipment and materials. Japan manufactures 20% of the world 's semiconductor products, including NAND flash, an indispensable electronic part of Apple 's iPad. Japan also supplies the wings, landing gears and other major parts of Boeing 's 787 Dreamliner. Automakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki temporarily suspended production. A total of 22 plants, including Sony, were shut in the area.
2. Japan’s energy policy after Fukushima disaster The country lacks significant domestic reserves of fossil fuel, except coal, and must import substantial amounts of crude oil, natural gas, and other energy resources, including uranium. Japan relied on oil imports to meet about 42% of its energy needs in 2010. Japan was also the first coal importer in 2010 (about 20% of total world coal import), and the first natural gas importer (12.1% of world total gas import).
With 54 active nuclear power generating reactor units in 2009, that year Japan ranked third in the world in that respect, after the United States (104 reactors)

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