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Japan May Struggle to Find Alternatives to Russian Oil

Japan May Struggle to Find Alternatives to Russian Oil

   Tokyo, May 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan may find it difficult to secure alternatives to Russian oil, people familiar with the matter said Monday after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced earlier in the day a plan to ban imports of Russian oil in stages as part of fresh sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
   Kishida pledged to "basically" stop the oil imports at an online summit of the Group of Seven major countries in step with the other G-7 members, which are working to reduce their dependence on Russian oil.
   Russian oil accounts for only 3.6 pct of Japan's overall crude oil imports, or 90,000 barrels per day. Of the Russian imports, 43 pct come from natural gas and oil projects off Sakhalin in which the Japanese government and companies have interests.
   As Kishida maintains that Japan will not pull plug on the projects, Japan needs to find suppliers that can cover the rest of imports from Russia.
   But Japan may have difficulty sufficiently securing such alternative suppliers because the country has been reducing its dependence on Middle Eastern oil and because other major Western economies are also rushing to non-Russian oil, people familiar with the situation said.

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