Regulation of the Upstream Petroleum Sector

Regulation of the Upstream Petroleum Sector

A Comparative Study of Licensing and Concession Systems

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Edited by Tina Hunter

This discerning and comprehensive work will be a useful entry point for students embarking on study in petroleum law. Academics will find this timely examination to be an indispensible overview of upstream operations. Practitioners will find this book an illustrative review of the origins of issues surrounding regulatory frameworks in managing natural resources.

Chapter 11: Licensing and regulation of Japan’s offshore resources

Souichirou Kozuka

Subjects: law - academic, commercial law, energy law


Procurement of petroleum has always been a critical issue in the modern history of Japan. Soon after opening up the country to the world in the mid-19th century, the demand for paraffin oil increased due to the penetration of imported oil lamps. In the 20th century, as the primary energy source shifted from coal to petroleum, the Japanese government attempted to promote production of petroleum through public funding of operators in the upstream sector. After the oilfields overseas were all lost as a result of the defeat in the Second World War, the government and industry of Japan again made various attempts to secure interests in the upstream of the petroleum industry. Still, the regulatory regime remained relatively underdeveloped. The Mining Act, applicable to mining of various kinds of minerals, also includes the exploration for and production of petroleum. It was only in 2011 that amendments to the Mining Act established a special regime for petroleum and other important minerals. The introduction of the new regime was motivated, among others, by the intent to promote exploration of petroleum (as well as other resources, such as undersea minerals) within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and on the Continental Shelf. In this chapter, the Japanese regulation of the upstream petroleum sector having just entered a new phase is analyzed, with some insights into the historical background. First, a brief overview of the history of petroleum production and the relevant regulation is given.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information