In a report released today entitled Rebuild The Power System That Supports Japan, Keidanren underlined the importance of energy policy to the resource-poor country.
Energy is "the economic backbone of the nation" and so discussions on the country's energy future should be held in public, based on long-term perspectives, scientific information and modelling, it said.
Japan is in a "crisis situation" of low investment and in the electricity business it has stagnated, except in certain areas, such as nuclear safety measures, it said.
"Japan stands at a crossroads as to whether it can maintain the foundations of technology and industrial competitiveness built up as a small resource country and a technological nation," it said, adding that investment in R&D, generating reserve and new capacity construction had come to a halt.
In the current situation, it is challenging to maintain the pre-requisites of energy policy - secure supply, affordability and environmental acceptability, it said. Meanwhile Japan is expecting to evolve into what Keidanren called Society 5.0, whereby social problems can be solved using advanced technology, Japan's population will age and decline, while in common with other places it expects decentralised energy sources supported by digitalisation to become very significant in regional and national supply. A highly decentralised future could see great variety in Japan, given its geography, distribution of renewable sources and dense clusters of population and industry. If it is to be successful, such a system needs planning.
For these reasons the report calls for the government to provide clarity for energy policy after 2030, so that business can set "a timely and proportionate" investment strategy.