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Hidden threat: Japan has only 2-week stockpile of LNG

Coronavirus exposes nation's post-Fukushima vulnerability

It takes about one month to ship LNG from the Middle East to Japan. If the coronavirus outbreak prevents ships from docking in Japan, it could have a big impact on the country's power supply. (Photo courtesy of JERA)

TOKYO -- The coronavirus outbreak has raised a new risk for Japan -- a potential cutoff of the crucial liquified natural gas supply that would plunge large portions of the country into darkness.

Because LNG is poorly suited for long-term storage, Japan only has a two-week stockpile. Yet, the country depends on the fuel for 40% of its electric power generation needs, and all of the LNG it uses is imported from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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