Tokyo, May 9 (EFE).- Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Monday said Japan had decided to ban Russian crude oil imports “in principle” but “reduce or suspend” it in a phased manner while maintaining a stake in energy projects with Moscow to minimize the impact on supply.
“We will consider the timing of reduction or suspension of oil imports based on the actual situation. In other words, it means taking the phase-out step over time,” Kishida said.
He was speaking to reporters at his official residence after a virtual meeting of the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations.
Leaders of the G7 nations – United States, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom – were unable to reach an agreement to ban imports of Russian oil.
Kishida said he had not changed the policy of maintaining interests in Sakhalin 1 and Sakhalin 2 oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Japanese government and companies own stakes in the gas projects from which partners Exxon Mobil Corp and Shell PLC have announced their exit.
“The point of maintaining interests has not changed. Regarding oil imports from Japan’s interests, taking a phase-out step in a way that minimizes adverse effects on people’s lives and business activities, considering that it contributes to a long-term, inexpensive and stable supply of energy.”
In a message on Twitter, the prime minister said that based on the joint statement by the G7 leaders, the government has decided to take measures to ban Russian crude oil imports “in principle.”
Kishida said he would continue working “closely” with the G7 and the countries involved, including Ukraine, whose invasion by Russia has led to this and other sanctions, to protect the international order.
The prime minister did not offer a specific roadmap on the ban of Russian crude oil imports, which in 2021 accounted for around 3.6 percent of such imports for Japan.
Japan obtains most of the oil it consumes from the Middle East. EFE