Apr 19, 2019 14:46 Asia/Tehran [Updated: May 28, 2020 22:39 Asia/Tehran]
  • Japan Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko
    Japan Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko

Japan economy minister said that Tokyo keeps buying Iran's crude oil for ensuring the security of its oil supply in spite of the US sanctions.

Iran Press/Asia: Japan remains committed to avoiding any harmful impact from the US sanctions on Iran, as it sees the Middle Eastern oil producer important for the country's supply security, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Hiroshige Seko said on Friday, IRNA reported.

'Japan's relationship with Iran, as one of the world's leading oil producing countries, is important as the country relies on almost all of its petroleum needs on imports,' Seko said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Hiroshige Seko on US unilateral imposed sanctions on Iran, said: 'We intend to have close discussions with the US side in order to avoid having a harmful effect from the US measures on Japan's stable energy supply and its corporate activity.'

Japan is one of eight countries that received a 180-day exemption from US sanctions on Iranian oil imports. The sanctions waiver is set to expire May 2.

Without any new information on whether the US will extend current sanctions waiver or not, Japanese refiners completed their imports of Iranian oil by mid-April.

JXTG Holdings unit JX Nippon Oil & Energy refinery in Yokohama 

Refiners Idemitsu Kosan, Showa Shell, and Cosmo Oil said April 10 that they had yet to decide on their Iranian oil imports, following the latest US-Japan talks on Iran sanctions in Washington on April 8.

Fuji Oil, a major Japanese buyer of Iranian oil, said then it will consider procuring Iranian crude both on a term and spot basis if Washington extends its sanctions waiver to Tokyo beyond May.

In February, Japan imported 135,013 b/d of Iranian oil, marking the first imports in four months, down 25.1% year on year, according to METI data.

Iranian Heavy crude accounted for 86.8% of the total Iranian oil imported in February, when Japan also took 249,139 barrels of Soroosh, marking the first imports of the grade since May 2016.

on 15 April, Iranian Oil Minister,  Bijan Namdar Zanganeh cautioned the US administration against continued pressure and sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying such moves will negatively affect the global oil market.

Iran’s exports of crude oil were higher in early 2019 as some customers have increased purchases due to waivers from US sanctions, according to media reports.

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