The Investor's Goal The Key Difference Between Equity Markets and Credit Markets

The Japanese Economy and Oil Prices

Japan imports 99% of its oil (compared to the U.S., which imports 50%). It is one of the world's largest net oil importers. Japan's lack of domestic sources of energy, and its need to import vast amounts of crude oil, natural gas and other energy resources, makes it particularly sensitive to changes in oil prices. Japan also lacks the flexibility to switch to nuclear power because it is a huge net importer of uranium for its nuclear power plants. In 2003, the country's dependence on imports for primary energy stood at more than 79%. Oil provided Japan with 50% of its total energy needs, coal with 17%, nuclear power 14%, natural gas 14%, hydroelectric power 4%, and renewable sources a mere 1.1%. Therefore, when oil prices skyrocket, the Japanese economy suffers.