Japan's use of fuel oil to generate power is set to fall over the next fiscal year to levels not seen since before the Fukushima disaster, if enough of the country's nuclear reactors are allowed back online.
Demand for low sulphur fuel oil has already dropped as Asia's largest listed power utility Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) leads a switch to coal and gas to cut costs.
Further falls will push product back into an over-supplied Asia-Pacific market, hitting prices and processing margins already expected to be weak due to refinery expansions in China and the Middle East.
Japan's low sulphur fuel oil imports rose to a 39-year high of 150,600 barrels per day (bpd) in the financial year that ended last March 31, but between April and November 2013 fell about a third from the same period the previous year, according to trade ministry data.
Japan is the largest importer of fuel oil for power use in Asia, taking more than twice the volumes of the next biggest user, South Korea, according to traders.
The Japanese government has drafted a new space development policy that will enhance its ability to provide security. The plan includes increasing the number of intelligence-gathering satellites. (NHK)
Tokyo Electric Power Co. will postpone the dismantling of the crippled No. 1 unit of its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, as the company has already run into delays, officials said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says North Korea pledged to investigate the abduction of Japanese nationals without regard to the outcome of previous probes. But Pyongyang failed to provide detailed information on abductees. (NHK)
In spite of a recent fall in organized crime membership, Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Monday released a manga comic to discourage participation in yakuza gangs, reports the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (Oct. 27). (Tokyo Reporter)