Japanese energy policy has persistently promoted nuclear energy, even since the Fukushima disasters and despite failures in meeting its objectives. However, since Fukushima local actors (prefectures, towns, courts, and local activists) have grown more powerful with respect to policy and implementation. This paper analyzes the role of local civic actors in energy policy. A wide variety of literature is drawn on. The main finding is that, after successfully resisting nuclear restarts, local actors now understand that the future lies in renewables. Thus, the potential for local civic engagement to influence sustainable energy policy needs to be explored. The input and support of local communities are needed to strengthen the country’s energy security requirements and its pursuit of climate goals.

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