Unfortunately, one of the best ways to book Emirates First Class is no longer.
Until last week, it was possible to use Japan Airlines miles to book Emirates First Class awards for a reasonable points cost without fuel surcharges, only paying for taxes with a maximum of around $79 per ticket for round-trip travel between New York JFK and Dubai. Now, due to the inclusion of fuel surcharges, that cash cost has seen a massive increase to over $1,700 for those same flights.
There is still one route that is a good deal with Japan Airlines miles, however, as noted by Straight To The Points. Hong Kong does not allow fuel surcharges on tickets, so you can fly from Hong Kong to the US (or anywhere!) via Dubai without having to worry about fuel surcharges. The exact cost, in both miles and cash, will depend on where you ultimately fly but rest assured that the number will be in the hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. For example, a flight from Hong Kong to New York via Dubai will cost you $90 in taxes and fees plus 115,000 Japan Airlines miles.
Japan Airlines is a 1:1 transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, and you can get a bonus 5,000 miles if you transfer in 20,000 SPG point increments. You would need 95,000 SPG points to redeem for the above-mentioned flights from Hong Kong to New York.