Historical Background of the Japanese Coal Industry Decline



This chapter argues that reasons for coal mine closure in Japan can be categorized into five main narratives and explanations. First, coal as an energy resource in Japan was outcompeted by cheaper oil imports in the 1960s due to the rising yen. Second, the initial early post-war boom in coal demand due to the Korean War (1950) plummeted after the war. Third, coal use ran into growing environmental awareness in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s. Fourth, coal unions were politically volatile and caused political tensions within Japan. Finally, Japan and its economy was becoming wealthier and was keen to transition to a more-efficient, less-polluting fuel that could avoid extraction challenges in dangerous coal mines prone to flooding.


Coal Mine Coal Mining World Heritage Site Asian Development Bank Coal Resource 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UniSimSingapurSingapore

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