Japan gas station. Image: Ned Snowman Shutterstock
Today it is not difficult to find a gas station, but that may change as is happening in Japan. There they are losing 1,000 gas stations a year.
The number of gas stations in Japan has halved in the past quarter century, according to Masatoshi Kojima, a professor at Toyo University and an expert on oil distribution in this country.
Japan currently has only about 30,000 service stations, down from the peak of more than 60,000 in 1994.
Most surprisingly, the total continues to plummet, with 1,000 stations disappearing each year.
” The demand for gasoline has plummeted as more and more Japanese are choosing not to own a car, ” says Kojima. “ Many gas station owners have gone out of business since it became legally mandatory for gas stations to repair their old underground fuel storage tanks. “
As electric vehicles and hybrid cars become more popular in the coming years, Kojima predicts, gas stations will find it increasingly difficult to stay afloat simply by selling gasoline.
There was a time when working at a gas station was a fashionable and coveted job sought by young people in many countries, says Kojima.
Image: TK Kurikawa Shutterstock
The number of gas stations in Japan soared in the 1960s, according to Kojima.
Every time a major earthquake hits the nation, long lines of cars are seen at gas stations. People naturally feel uncomfortable when they cannot get fuel, as well as when they cannot find enough food and drink.
Many people in the earthquake-affected areas speak of their unpleasant experiences related to the gasoline shortage.
“I had to wait four hours before I could fill the tank.” “When the fuel gauge shows that the tank is half full, I start to feel scared.”
Our lives depend heavily on gas stations, as well as during emergencies.
In recent years, communities on remote islands and in mountainous regions have been fighting to keep local gas stations from shutting down. But they are increasingly rare. There are already many completely isolated villages, in which the nearest station is 150 kilometers away. Something that is making its inhabitants stop using their combustion engine cars.
Japan is an example of what is to come.