Geopolitical Tensions Cloud Japan-China Energy Cooperation

October 12, 2023|China - Japan

Since 1945, Chinese-Japanese relations in the energy sector have evolved significantly, influenced by changing economic priorities, diplomatic goals, and global energy dynamics. Today, due to geopolitical shifts caused by the 18-month war in Ukraine and Japan’s push to strengthen economic security by deepening relations with G7 allies, further development of Japan-China energy ties will be limited. 

Despite obvious advantages in potential cooperation, as well as geographical proximity, the two countries have been cautious about collaborating in energy. Often eyeing each other as rivals for upstream energy projects around the globe, the two countries have only really connected in LNG and, more recently, in the hydrogen sector. 

Nevertheless, amid this frosty geopolitical context, some Japanese companies are trying to find room to maneuver and establish cooperation with Chinese partners. Here’s a brief overview and survey of current energy relations between China and Japan, with a sober analysis of how feasible growth and development might possibly play out. 

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