Publication Abstracts

Kiang and Schipper 1996

Kiang, N., and L. Schipper, 1996: Energy trends in Japan's transportation sector. Transp. Policy, 3, 21-35, doi:10.1016/0967-070X(96)00001-7.

Passenger transportation in Japan, which is comprised of a high share of rail passengers and a low share of private vehicles, is considered one of the least energy-intensive transportation sectors in the industrialized countries. The thesis of this paper is that, despite low per capita energy use, when the intensities of individual modes are compared, Japanese transportation is not more energy efficient. Here, a detailed 25-year energy balance of this sector is analyzed, disaggregating fuel use within the different modes of transport as well as identifying the role of mini-cars and mini-trucks in Japanse transport activity and energy use. Changes in activity, modal structure, and modal energy intensity are separated out to describe energy-consumption trends. (Modal structure is found to he the primary factor behind the current low energy intensity of passenger transport and the high energy intensity of freight.) It is shown, through comparisons with similar data for the USA and eight European countries, that the low per capita energy use for passenger travel in Japan is related to both the low level of travel in general and the great importance of rail and bus, while there is very little difference between the structure of Japanese and European energy use for freight. The increased use of larger private cars and freight trucks continues to raise the energy intensity of the transportation sector, while air transport continues to gain shares in both sectors. Indeed, aggregate travel in Japan is more energy intensive than it is in Europe, and aggregate freight more energy intensive than in either the USA or Europe. Past improvements in energy efficiency were for the most part motivated by commercial concerns. No specific government policies to conserve transportation energy exist, and there is little evidence that policies had any effects on energy use, except, perhaps to increase energy use. The concluding discussion addresses the effects of Japanese transportation energy trends on carbon dioxide emissions.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Kiang, N. and Schipper, L.},
  title={Energy trends in Japan's transportation sector},
  journal={Transport Policy},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ki04000r
AU  - Kiang, N.
AU  - Schipper, L.
PY  - 1996
TI  - Energy trends in Japan's transportation sector
JA  - Transp. Policy
JO  - Transport Policy
VL  - 3
SP  - 21
EP  - 35
DO  - 10.1016/0967-070X(96)00001-7
ER  -

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