May 28, 2022
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Japan to take time phasing out Russian oil imports — PM Kishida

Japan to take time phasing out Russian oil imports — PM Kishida

TOKYO — Japan will take time to section out Russian oil imports after agreeing on a ban with different Group of Seven (G7) nations to counter Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida mentioned on Monday. 

The G7 nations dedicated to the transfer “in a timely and orderly fashion” at a web based assembly on Sunday to put additional strain on President Vladimir Putin, though members resembling resource-poor Japan rely closely on Russian gas. 

“For a country heavily dependent on energy imports, it’s a very difficult decision. But G7 coordination is most important at a time like now,” Mr. Kishida instructed reporters, repeating feedback he made on the G7 assembly. 

“As for the timing of the reduction or stoppage of (Russian) oil imports, we will consider it while gauging the actual situation,” he mentioned. “We will take our time to take steps towards a phase-out.” He didn’t elaborate. 

There have been no ships loading Russian oil for Japan since mid-April, in accordance to Refinitiv knowledge. About 1.9 million barrels had been exported from Russia to Japan in April, 33% down from the identical month a 12 months in the past. 

The Ukraine disaster has highlighted Japan’s vitality dependence on Russia whilst Tokyo has acted swiftly and in tandem with the G7 in instituting sanctions. 

The most recent ban underlines a flip in Japan’s coverage. Japan has mentioned it might be troublesome to instantly minimize off Russian oil imports, which accounted for about 33 million barrels of Japan’s total oil imports, or 4%, for 2021. 

It has already mentioned it’s going to ban Russian coal imports in levels, leaving simply liquefied pure gasoline (LNG). Japan is in a very robust spot because it shut down the majority of its nuclear reactors following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. 

Russia was Japan’s fifth-biggest provider of crude oil and LNG final 12 months. 

The Japanese authorities and firms personal stakes in oil and LNG tasks in Russia, together with two on Sakhalin Island from which companions Exxon Mobil Corp and Shell PLC have introduced they are going to exit. 

Nonetheless, Japan’s largest oil refiner, Eneos Holdings Inc., has already stopped shopping for Russian crude, saying it might get provides from the Center East. 

On Friday, buying and selling agency Marubeni Corp mentioned it needed to withdraw from the Sakhalin-1 oil undertaking however was holding its stake consistent with authorities coverage. 

Mr. Kishida mentioned on Monday there was no change to the federal government’s coverage of holding enterprise pursuits within the varied Russian vitality belongings. — Reuters

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