Japan to phase out crude oil imports from Russia

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Monday that Japan will in principle ban Russian oil imports, at an online meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

“This is a very tough decision, but the solidarity of the G7 is more important than anything else,” Kishida said at the meeting. The prime minister pointed out that Japan largely depends on imports for most of its energy resources.

After the meeting, Kishida told the press that the Japanese government will proceed with the envisaged embargo in stages.

“[We] feel the importance of standing in solidarity with the international community to impose tough sanctions [against Russia] in the face of growing concerns over an unstable international order,” Kishida said at the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to Kishida, Japan “will take time to phase out” Russian oil imports, further considering reductions and when to stop imports entirely.

Kishida stressed that Japan will maintain its interests in the Sakhalin-1 energy development project on the Russian Far East island of Sakhalin, among other projects.

“Oil imports from the interests contribute to the stable supply of low-cost energy over the long term, and that minimizes the negative impact on people’s lives and business activities,” said Kishida.