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The Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, has advised citizens to wear turtlenecks and scarves to keep warm during this winter, saying they “will make you feel warmer and prevent you from catching a cold, and it will also help save electricity,” Bloomberg reports.
Japan is extremely poor in natural resources. As such, it imports almost all of its energy. What is particularly uncomfortable right now is that Russia is one of its biggest energy suppliers, and there is no way for Japan to cut off all imports of oil and gas from its western neighbor, despite it being a member of the G7. As a member of the G7, Japan has supported the price cap plan of the group and, albeit only formally, a ban on Russian oil imports.
To secure energy supply, the Japanese government in October even changed the national fuel law so that state-owned agencies could procure LNG in case private buyers are unable to secure sufficient volumes. The trade ministry will also have the power to order a reduction in gas use for large companies in a tight supply situation.
Meanwhile, the Japanese authorities have so far this year twice called on the Japanese to conserve energy: once in the summer and then again earlier this month, as high LNG prices and limited supply squeeze the availability of fossil fuels.
Among advice dispensed so far, authorities have emphasized turning off the lights in rooms one is not using at the moment and wearing an additional layer of clothing. More recently, the authorities have called on citizens to gather in a single room to watch television and stop using toilet seat warmers to conserve energy.
Energy conservation calls have become the norm for governments in Europe this year, with the EU also highly dependent on imported energy from none other than current arch-enemy Russia. Europeans are also being advised to wear more layers of clothes and be sparing with the use of electricity around the house, especially for heating purposes.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,