Panel: Japan Adopts Measures for Stable Supply of Oil, Rare Metals

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The trade ministry on Thursday adopted a set of emergency measures aimed at ensuring stable supplies of important resources and materials, such as crude oil and rare metals, amid the crisis in Ukraine.

The measures include asking oil-producing countries to increase output in preparation for a possible halt of crude oil supply from Russia. They were adopted at the first meeting of the ministry’s headquarters on the supply chains for strategic materials and energy.

The ministry is seeking to reduce Japan’s dependence on Russia in an effort to minimize the impact of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on the Japanese economy.

The ministry concluded that it needs to take swift action regarding seven of 20 goods it imports from Russia or Ukraine, including crude oil, liquefied natural gas, palladium and gases used in semiconductor manufacturing.

“Instead of only focusing on the recent situation, we should make efforts across the ministry based on a higher viewpoint of pursuing the survival of the nation and stabilizing citizens’ lives,” trade minister Koichi Hagiuda said at the meeting.

Japan relied on Russia for 3.6% of its crude oil imports and 8.8% of its LNG imports in 2021, so a possible sudden halt to supplies from the country would be bound to cause economic turmoil.

The emergency package also includes ensuring stable supplies by increasing support for private companies’ efforts to secure oil and gas interests in the medium to long term.