Starting today, the Japanese government is asking businesses and households across the country to save electricity. This is because there is not enough reserve power supply to replenish such emergency situations of power shortages. The term is 4 months until the end of March 2023. No specific numerical targets have been set.
There are multiple possible causes of the power shortage. One is the lack of progress in restarting nuclear power plants across the country. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, several nuclear power plants have remained shut down as it is dangerous. Second, the deteriorating profitability of major electric power companies and their drive to decarbonize their operations have led to the closure and decommissioning of thermal power plants. Finally, rising prices for liquefied natural gas and surging demand for electricity due to rapid climate change are also contributing factors.
The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry called on citizens for layered clothing, lowering air conditioner temperature settings, and turning off unnecessary lights. Now supermarkets and convenience stores are dimly lit with minimal lighting. Japanese supermarkets adjusted the brightness and color of lighting and devised product layouts that made foodstuffs look their most delicious. Such corporate efforts are now a luxury and surplus.