Japan is now witnessing something which has been atypical of the country for a decade. China doves are making a reappearance in the country. Therefore, taking a pro-China stance is a foregone conclusion.
“Peace”, “friendly diplomacy” and “conflict resolution” are just some of the pacifist terms that are making a comeback in Japanese foreign policy. And now with China dove, Fumio Kishida, in power, the country is all set to spend a major chunk of its economy to aid China’s ailing economy. Let’s see how.
China’s ailing economy
China has always been the major supplier of solar panels across the globe. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), China’s installed solar PV production grew from 204.996 GW in 2019 to around 254.355 GW in 2020. Large-scale solar PV installation deployments, notably for utility projects, were the cause of the growth.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on the Chinese solar energy market. Due to unexpected shutdowns, China started witnessing a steep recession in solar module exports that impacted the Chinese economy wretchedly. The largest market for solar PV in the world started seeing its end. But it seems that Japan won’t let that happen.
Japan will aid China
Japanese companies are now aiming to install solar panels on rooftops of Southeast Asian countries. The Southeast Asian region has for long been heavily dependent on fossil fuels for deriving energy. The region lacks renewable energy supplies. Therefore, Japan has a plan which will concomitantly fill Xi’s pockets. The installation of solar panels across the globe which came to a screeching halt due to covid is now trying to ratchet up with the helping hand of Japanese companies.
A Thai manufacturer of hard disc drives has an industrial park where Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings will install solar panels with a 3,800-kilowatt capacity, a report stated. The project will be carried out by a joint venture between TEPCO and a nearby provider of renewable energy, Constant Energy. Installation and upkeep expenses will be covered by the joint venture, and the investment will be recuperated by selling the generated power to businesses.
TEPCO wants to work with Japanese businesses in Thailand and potentially expand into other close-by countries including Vietnam and Malaysia using the expertise gained from its rooftop solar panel business in Japan.
Also, Japanese oil distributor Eneos formed a solar power partnership with France’s Total Energies in April. They plan to move into nine markets, including Japan, India and nations in Southeast Asia. By installing solar panels on the roofs of factories and stores, they aim to reach a capacity of 2 million kW, or the equivalent of two nuclear reactors, by 2027.
Japan-based energy companies are now heavily investing in the Southeast Asian region and are indulging in the expansion of their energy business in the markets of countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam among others.
Make no mistake, this might be a ray of hope for the Southeast Asian region but the ulterior motive of Japan is to aid China’s ailing economy. Japan, under the administration of a China dove, is now all set to disburse billions of dollars in the name of solar panels in the Southeast Asian region. Japan is trying to revive the Chinese solar energy market that went out of sorts since the pandemic crept in.