Japan to reduce Iran oil imports for US sanctions

January 12, 2012 06:31


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TOKYO - Japan's finance minister pledged after talks with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday to steadily reduce oil imports from Iran in support of US sanctions on Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

Geithner welcomed Tokyo's cooperation, which could be an encouraging sign for US foreign policy after China, a big buyer of Iranian crude, rebuffed US appeals to starve Iran of much-needed revenue from oil sales.The move is not without its risks for Japan, as the country relies on imports for its energy needs and has to import more fuel from overseas to make up for waning use of nuclear power following last year's nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

Anxiety over Iran's nuclear program, which it says is not for military use, could also push up oil prices and harm the global economy.

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