Japan to additionally release oil from reserves

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan will release an additional 15 million barrels of oil from its reserves under a recent International Energy Agency agreement, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday.

The country will tap both state and private-sector reserves in what will be its largest release of oil. This will mark the country’s first release of oil from state reserves since the stockpiling began in 1978.

The amount of oil to be released is 1.5 times larger than required by the IEA and is the largest next only to the United States, Kishida told reporters.

Japan has released surplus oil from its state reserves in line with a request from the United States for an international coordinated release last November to curb crude oil prices.

In March, IEA nations agreed to jointly release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves amid the Ukrainian crisis. Japan has released 7.5 million barrels from private-sector reserves based on the agreement.

Kishida also said that the government will secure seats on direct flights to Japan from Poland for the time being, in order to transport Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion.

The measure is designed to ensure that Ukrainians travel to Japan smoothly, he said.

The government used its aircraft to transport 20 Ukrainians from Poland to Japan earlier this week.

On the discovery of numerous bodies believed to be those of civilians near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after the retreat of the Russian military, Kishida said he is “strongly shocked by the series of revelations of unacceptable acts.”

“They are war crimes, and Russia should be held accountable,” the prime minister said.