Japan comments on U.S. ban on importing Iranian oil

Japan comments on U.S. ban on importing Iranian oil

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 Hiroshige Seko said.

Speaking at a regular press conference, the minister said 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, he noted, adding that Iran now accounts for about 3% of purchases.

"We will closely watch international oil markets and exchange views with Japanese companies involved in crude imports and may consider taking necessary measures," Reuters cited Seko as saying.

The United States demanded yesterday all buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.

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