Japan joins US, others in oil reserves release
Tokyo, Nov 24 (EFE).- Japan will release some of its national oil reserves to help stabilize crude oil prices in coordination with the United States and other nations, the country’s prime minister announced on Wednesday.
“The Japanese government has decided to sell some of its state oil reserves,” Fumio Kishida said, public broadcaster NHK reported.
This announcement by the Japanese government comes after US President Biden on Tuesday announced the use of 50 million barrels of oil in the coming months from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
In a statement, the White House said that the announcement was “in parallel with other major energy consuming nations including China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.”
“Stabilizing crude oil prices is a very important task to create economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” the Japanese prime minister said.
Kishida, who has been in power since October, added that the government will continue working together with oil-producing countries as well as on measures for industries such as fishing and agriculture with the objective of mitigating drastic changes in oil prices.
Amid a global increase in oil prices, the Japanese government on Friday also approved a subsidy program for Japanese crude oil importers and wholesalers aimed at cushioning the impact of rising prices on consumers and individuals.
This is the first time that Japan has decided to release its national oil reserves in a bid to curb prices.
It had previously used its emergency stocks during the 1991 Gulf War and after 2011’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The country, which relies on the Middle East for 90 percent of its oil, began keeping crude reserves in the 1970s.
At the end of September, the country had state-owned reserves for 145 days of domestic consumption. EFE