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Political economy of low sulfurization and air pollution control policy in Japan : SOx emission reduction by fuel conversion


  • Terao, Tadayoshi


In the early stages of the development of Japan’s environmental policy, sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, which seriously damage health, was the most important air pollution problem. In the second half of the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, the measures against SOx emissions progressed quickly, and these emissions were reduced drastically. The most important factor of the reduction was the conversion to a low-sulfur fuel for large-scale fuel users, such as the electric power industry. However, industries started conversion to low-sulfur fuel not due to environmental concerns, but simply to reduce costs. Furthermore, the interaction among the various interests of the electric power industry, oil refineries, the central government, local governments, and citizens over the energy and environmental policies led to the measures against SOx emissions by fuel conversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Terao, Tadayoshi, 2013. "Political economy of low sulfurization and air pollution control policy in Japan : SOx emission reduction by fuel conversion," IDE Discussion Papers 407, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper407

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kodama, Yuka, 2012. "Young women's economic daily lives in rural Ethiopia," IDE Discussion Papers 344, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
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    More about this item


    Japan; Environmental policy; Air pollution; Low sulfurization; Crude oil combustion;

    JEL classification:

    • N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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