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iii FOREWORD F ifteen years ago, policymakers, industry leaders, and regional analysts were faced with a very different energy landscape in the Asia-Pacific. Until recently, North America was expected to be a major importer of natural gas for the foreseeable future—to the extent that in 2001, the International Energy Agency called out rising dependence on gas imports as a potential source of geopolitical concern for the continent. Meanwhile, Japan’s energy security strategies emphasized increasing the country’s reliance on nuclear energy to over 40% of the supply mix and looked to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an opportunity to reduce dependence on Middle East energy imports. And while there were already signs that China would need to address the limits of self-reliance as an energy strategy, its global engagement and investment in world energy markets remained at a much lower level. However, rapid and dramatic developments in markets, technologies, and policies have altered each of these realities. Soaring Asian demand, coupled with declining North American import needs, has fundamentally altered the flow of oil and gas supplies in international markets. Although Middle Eastern supplies remain the linchpin of global energy security, today nearly all of the region’s oil and gas exports are directed to Asia. These trends suggest that a fundamental revolution has occurred in world energy markets, with the Asia-Pacific at the center. As the dynamics of this revolution continue to evolve rapidly, there is a need for regional stakeholders to consider how to best use it as a catalyst to strengthen energy cooperation, which would yield economic, security, and environmental benefits. In order to strategically respond to these changes, policymakers and industry leaders across the region need to better understand how to adapt institutions, strategies, and market tools for regional energy security to accurately reflect the changes and embrace the opportunities of a new energy era. With these issues in mind, the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) has convened the multiyear initiative “Adapting to a New Energy Era.” Through a range of activities—including field research, commissioned papers, workshops, and dialogues with key stakeholders—this initiative provides in-depth and rigorous research into how countries across the Asia-Pacific can forge stronger diplomatic, strategic, and economic tools to support common energy security interests. Our approach includes an emphasis on four core questions: 1. What is the United States’ current energy security strategy toward oil and gas supply security, and how are conditions changing? 2. How can the United States, Japan, and other stakeholders in Asia work together to build stronger market, diplomatic, and institutional tools for a new energy and strategic environment? 3. How can Asia-Pacific countries work more closely together on a coordinated strategic policy to stabilize the Persian Gulf and secure oil and LNG transport? 4. What are the likely requirements for the United States, Japan, and other stakeholders in Asia to achieve these goals? In this NBR Special Report, four leading Asia policy specialists examine elements of each of these questions. In the first essay, Mikkal E. Herberg offers an overview of major shifts underway in world energy markets and highlights key questions for strengthening efforts to develop new, more collaborative energy security strategies in the Asia-Pacific. Next, Roy Kamphausen assesses factors that will shape U.S. strategic engagement in the Middle East and raises questions about iv NBR SPECIAL REPORT u SEPTEMBER 2014 potential roles for new security providers in the region, especially among the oil-importing states in East Asia. Following this analysis, Tsutomu Toichi offers a view from Japan, examining what the existential questions are for its energy policies and how the country may lead in strengthening regional energy security more broadly. In the fourth essay, Tom Cutler assesses the need for new energy architecture in the Asia-Pacific and makes recommendations for improving regional engagement. Collectively, these essays address key questions for U.S. and Asian energy security, making them essential reading for both industry and the policy community. We are grateful to the authors for their insights. In addition to the report’s authors, a number of individuals and groups deserve special thanks and acknowledgement for their support of this initiative. First, we wish to extend our thanks to the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. Through seeking to promote international exchange, cooperation, and understanding, the foundation fosters invaluable insight and leadership on a wide range of questions with implications for strengthening trans-Pacific ties. Its generous support and guidance has made this initiative...


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