Report: APP CMHS Project 1

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2.5. Japan

Japan has estimated small coal reserves of 396 million short tons. Only one underground mine is currently operating in Japan at Kushiro on the Northern Island of Hokkaido that produces 0.5 Mt annually.

Coal continues to account for a significant share of total energy consumption in Japan, although natural gas and nuclear power are increasingly important sources. According to EIA data, coal accounts for about 20 % of the total energy consumption in Japan, as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16 Japanese energy consumption

Coal remains an important fuel source and is used in a number of power-generating facilities in Japan. Coal-fired power generation accounts for approximately 25 % of electricity in the country, although the Japanese government has encouraged the use of low emission technologies (Figure 17).

Figure 17 Japan’s electricity generation

There is one operating underground coal mine in Japan, located at Kushiro, Hokkaido (Figure 18), which produces in the order of 0.5 Mt per year. The two main hazards at this mine are related strata management and spontaneous combustion. Water inflows are in the order of 2.5 – 3 Ml/min (42 – 50 l/s or 3.6 – 4.3 Ml/day). Methane is the typical seam gas but at very low levels.

Figure 18 Japanese coalfield – location of Kushiro Coal Mine

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