Viewed from space, Earth appears to be a watery planet and in fact it is, with water covering 70% of the planet's surface.
But in a cruel irony, most of the water is not the kind people or animals can drink. We require fresh water, which makes up only about 1% of the earth's water, while the vast oceans are filled with undrinkable salt water.Recall the ridiculous overcapacity in dry bulk shippers accumulated during the middle of the last decade and pictures of those ships anchored in Far Eastern bays during 2010. To ease the glut some ships were scrapped while others were converted into LNG tankers. Now that the US looks to become petroleum independent, a wise consideration might be for crude tankers to consider how water will be refined and how they could serve those in need. Whether tankers carry refining equipment aboard, or move water from refineries at sea or between nations something must meet this implicit demand.
Also considering the demographic and economic gulf facing Japan, they must soon address an abundance of power capacity. I propose they consider deploying nuclear to distill sea water for export.