The Japanese electricity sector is facing serious challenges in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The government has responded to the crisis with a new feed-in-tariff to promote increased utilization of renewable energy, and proposed to reduce the dependence on nuclear power. In this viewpoint, we liken the transition implied by recently updated goals for the diffusion of renewables in Japan to the transition in Germany in the last decade. We argue that some of the lessons learned in Germany might prove valuable for the steps Japan considers taking. In particular, we focus on the new Japanese feed-in tariff for solar photovoltaics. In view of the recent developments in Germany, we emphasize the importance of the scheme's political legitimacy, which needs to be maintained through adequate design of both policy instrument and political process. We conclude with policy implications and a targeted research agenda.
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