Weak yen means high energy costs for Japan
Japan's aggressive, expansionary monetary policy has driven down the relative value of the yen – which has boosted exports – but as it weakens, coal, crude oil and natural gas become less affordable.
Japan relies on imports for nearly all of it energy needs and as an island nation, it suffers from a lack of low cost energy transport such as rail and pipeline.
Rising energy costs have become all the more problematic since 2011 when the Fukushima catastrophe prompted the government to close most of the country's nuclear power plants.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Japan is the world’s top importer of liquid natural gas, its second largest coal importer and its third largest crude oil importer.
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