Japan expects a limited impact from the U.S. decision not to renew waivers previously granted on Iran oil import sanctions, the country’s trade and industry minister said on Tuesday.
The United States on Monday demanded all buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, a move to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues that sent benchmark crude prices to six-month highs. Japan is among a group of countries that were previously granted sanctions waivers. [O/R]
Speaking at a regular press conference, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Hiroshige Seko told reporters the government did not see any need to tap national oil reserves following the U.S. decision.
Japan, the world’s fourth-biggest oil consumer, has been reducing its reliance on Iranian crude supplies. Iran now accounts for about 3 percent of purchases, Seko said.
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