Japan to reduce Iranian oil imports

Japan_IranJapan will take decisive steps to cut Iranian oil imports, the country's finance minister, Jun Azumi announced in Tokyo during a visit by US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner.

Mr Geithner is seeking backing from China and Japan for stricter sanctions on Iran's oil industry in a bid to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Concrete action

Mr. Azumi said Iranian crude makes up 10 per cent of Japan's overall oil imports.

"We would like to take action concretely to further reduce (that) in a planned manner. In the past five years, we have reduced the amount of oil imported (from Iran)," said Mr. Azumi

Second biggest customer

Japan is the second biggest customer for Iranian oil, and has already urged Gulf Arab countries to increase their exports to make up any shortfall.

Reliant on energy supplies

Japan is very reliant on energy supplies as it is using increasing amounts of thermal power to generate electricity because of the nuclear crisis at Fukushima.

Mr Geithner welcomed the Japanese response. "We very much appreciate the support Japan has provided standing with us and the international community in support of this very important strategic objective," stated Mr Geithner.

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