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The Japanese biofuel program – developments and perspectives

Koizumi, Tatsuji
Journal of cleaner production 2013 v.40 pp. 57-61
agricultural products, biofuels, cellulose, energy, feedstocks, food availability, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, imports, markets, production costs, research projects, rural development, social impact, Japan
The Japanese government is promoting a biofuel program to deal with environmental and energy security problems and to promote rural development. This study is an economic analysis of domestic biofuel markets and programs and reviewing the Japanese biofuel program. At present, verification tests and large-scale projects for biofuel production have been launched, but current agricultural products based on biofuel production have experienced some problems in the way of high production costs, securing feedstock, and food availability. Japan is promoting the production of biofuel from cellulose and unused resources, and the R&D for second-generation biofuel is very active. The Japanese government needs to continue to assist on these research projects in the mid- to long term so Japan can increase its domestic biofuel production and imports in the future. The most crucial task for the Japanese biofuel program is establishing sustainable criteria for biofuel, which determine the limitations of GHG emissions, and pay close attention to bio-diversity, food availability, and social consequences. To realize these goals, further research and dialog with related countries and regions will be required.