Strategy & Industry Research Unit Paper
European countries employ different strategies on gas supply security depending on the time scale: while their short-term strategies focus on economic efficiency, long-term strategies also place more emphasis on ensuring energy security. With regard to short-term natural gas procurement strategies, each country places priority on ensuring immediate economic benefits. Furthermore, these strategies are led by enterprises, and no explicit government intervention can be detected. While its natural gas procurement focuses on economic efficiency in the short term, Europe has developed strategies that emphasize not only economic efficiency but also ensuring supply security with regard to medium- to long-term procurement. The EU, Britain, Germany and France differ in their strategies to ensure supply security, but what they have in common is that they all have a clear policy as to how to cope with their growing dependence on Russia. This is believed to be a result of European countries engaging in very deep discussion and consideration over their supply security. Japan, which is also an energy importing country like countries in Europe, can learn a lot from major European countries gas supply security strategies in considering its own security policy. As Europe has done, Japan should also accelerate efforts toward ensuring future energy security from a medium- to long-term perspective, in addition to immediate short-term strategies.