Abe’s re-election boost for nuclear, blow for renewables in Japan


Political observers and environmental activists have told Bloomberg that the solid re-election victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan will promote the country’s nuclear power industry at the expense of renewables.


Europe stocks, oil higher; Asia falls

European stocks inched higher Monday while Asian markets fell as weak Japanese data, slumping oil prices and a hostage situation in Australia's largest city induced caution.

KEEPING SCORE: In early European trading, France's CAC 40 was up 0.3 percent at 4,120.44 and Germany's DAX gained 0.1 percent to 9,600.89. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 6,307.59. Futures pointed to a rebound on Wall Street after Friday's decline, which produced the worst weekly loss in U.S. shares in more than two years. Dow futures were up 0.6 percent at 17,288 and S&P 500 futures gained 0.6 percent to 2,002.60.

OIL SLUMP: Oil inched higher after another rout on Friday that was sparked by the International Energy Agency saying that global demand will grow less than previously forecast next year. Oil has now fallen 47 percent since reaching a peak of $107 in June this year. On Monday, benchmark U.S. crude was up 41 cents at $58.22 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Lower oil prices should be positive for many countries but there are also worries the recent plunge is a sign of a sickly global economy.

Climate funds for coal highlight lack of UN rules

KANCI KULON, Indonesia (AP) — About $1 billion in loans under a U.N. initiative for poor countries to tackle global warming is going toward the construction of power plants fired by coal, the biggest human source of carbon pollution.

Japan gave the money to help its companies build three such plants in Indonesia and listed it with the United Nations as climate finance, The Associated Press has found. Japan says these plants burn coal more efficiently and are therefore cleaner than old coal plants.

Damage worse than thought in Japanese earthquake

TOKYO (AP) — The damage from an overnight earthquake in a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics proved more extensive than initially thought.

A daylight assessment Sunday found at least 50 homes destroyed in two villages, and 41 people injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.


Oil slips as Japan stumbles


Word that Japan has slipped into recession kept pressure on oil prices Monday ahead of a key OPEC meeting later this month. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery dropped 18 cents to settle at $75.64 on the Nymex, while in London Brent finished the trading session 10 cents lower at $79.31, Bloomberg reports.


Oil slides on Japan data


News that Japan has fallen into a recession sent oil prices tumbling once again early Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery dropped $1.11 to $74.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude was 77 cents lower at $78.67, Bloomberg reports.

Japan's nuclear cleanup stymied by water woes

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — More than three years into Japan's massive cleanup of the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant, only a tiny fraction of the workers are focused on the key tasks of dismantling the broken reactors and removing radioactive fuel rods.

Instead, nearly all the workers are devoted to a single, enormously distracting problem: coping with the vast amount of water that becomes contaminated after it is pumped into the reactors to keep the melted radioactive fuel inside from overheating.

The numbers tell the story.

Japan figures prominently in funding for Freeport LNG


Osaka Gas Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co., which have contracted to buy gas from the proposed Freeport LNG terminal, will also supply $1.2 billion toward construction of the first unit, while $3.85 billion will come from Japanese banks, FuelFix reports.

After Fukushima, Japan gets green boom _ and glut

TOKYO (AP) — Like other Japanese who were banking on this country's sweeping move toward clean energy, Junichi Oba is angry.

Oba, a consultant, had hoped to supplement his future retirement income in a guilt-free way and invested $200,000 in a 50 kilowatt solar-panel facility, set up earlier this year in a former rice paddy near his home in southwestern Japan.

Japan hopes for future market for nuclear fuel tech

The Wall Street Journal

Japan is hoping that it could benefit in the future from adapting technologies developed to deal with melted spent nuclear fuel in the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, The Wall Street Journal reports.


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