Shoichi Itoh, Senior Analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan has outlined in an article published by the Brookings Institution the urgent need Japan has for energy resources post-Fukushima disaster. As a result of Japan’s earthquake of some two years ago — the country has lost significant domestic nuclear energy generation capacity, which has traditionally produced 25% of the countries energy supply.
Japan is at present securing energy resources from countries as diverse as Qatar and Australia. But they need more. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — on a recent trip to Washington – asked US President Barack Obama to expand the scope of prospective US LNG exports to Japan. Japan is also actively seeking to secure other sources of energy from the United States, including coal – while at the same time seeking to tap potential new domestic energy sources from geothermal to gas.
A Japan energy law blog would compliment government efforts
Global competition for energy among those countries in need of additional energy resources is likely to become more fierce in the future. In order for Japan to be a competitive purchaser among global energy consuming nations – the country cannot solely rely on governmental action to effectively secure those sources of energy.
Law firms are best placed to help
Law firms in Japan with dedicated energy practices can seek now to emulate their counterparts in other parts of the world and establish dedicated blogs focused on how overseas energy companies can more effectively sell energy into the Japanese market – as well as more effectively enter and participate in the domestic energy exploration and development sector. Law firms more than other professional services firms have unique legal, political and energy sector specific knowledge and contacts. And Japan – like many markets — requires sophisticated local advisors in order for any overseas transactions or market entry to succeed.
Why a blog?
The demand for highly specific blog content is increasing – and the ability for those law firms who publish an energy specific blog to generate new revenue as a result of it, as the American Bar Association has outlined – would be significant.
A number of law firms with energy specialisms maintain blogs dedicated to providing news and information to the energy sector. Among them are Energy Legal Blog maintained by Bracewell & Giuliani. Liskow & Lewis publishes The Energy Law Blog and the Shale Energy Law Blog is published by Babst Calland.
Japan’s energy sector is in great need of experts beyond those in the government – to become active in the international market to help educate those energy companies and suppliers who might help Japan recover its energy footing. Any Japanese law firm considering a blog – should know that a blog is not a particular departure from the website you already maintain. It serves as an additional, highly sophisticated resource which will help your prospective clients understand your market in ways your website will not.
A unique circumstance
At present, Japan is actively seeking to secure additional sources of energy. As well, Japan’s primary geopolitical ally – the United States – is now energy rich.
A unique confluence of interests
Efforts by governments to move markets are often complimented by private sector participation. Japan’s law firms with energy practices are now in a position to compliment government action and play a significant role in helping facilitate the increase in the countries energy supply. A law blog, dedicated to providing a global audience with up-to-date news and information about the Japanese energy market, would be an exceptional means by which to do so.