Japan looks to secure energy supply as U.S. ends import waivers from Iran

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-23 16:27:14|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government on Tuesday said it would consider steps to avoid the nation's energy supply from being overly disrupted by the United States ending waivers on sanctions on oil imports from Iran by Japan and other countries.

On Monday, the United States said it would end waivers granted since November on May 2 that have been applicable to certain countries including Japan to import oil from Iran.

Japan said the move by Washington aimed at it exerting more pressure on Tehran to end its nuclear program would be met by measures to ensure Japan's energy supply.

"We will consider necessary steps to make sure that energy supply to Japan is not affected, by exchanging views with Japanese companies concerned," Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press briefing on the matter.

Suga, Japan's top government spokesperson, said that he had held talks with the U.S. on the issue to seek ways to protect Japanese firms from being negatively affected by Washington bringing an end to the sanction waivers.

Suga said that discussions with oil importers and other related companies were ongoing and views on the issue were being exchanged between the firms and the government.

Separately on Tuesday, Japan's Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said that Iranian oil accounts for only about 3 percent of Japan's oil imports.

"The government will monitor crude oil prices and consult with the United States when needed, depending on how the situation unfolds from now," Seko told a press conference, adding that opinions on the matter and how to proceed would be exchanged with relevant Japanese companies.

Japan's total crude oil imports are comprised of 5 percent of oil coming from Iran due to favorable prices, industry insiders said Tuesday.