Japan wants Iran crude imports cut 10-20%

By REUTERS
March 21, 2012 14:51

 
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The Japanese government probably wants Idemitsu Kosan to continue cutting Iranian crude imports as before, which is by 10 to 20 percent a year, the oil refiner's chairman said on Wednesday, a day after the US exempted the Asian nation from financial sanctions.

Each oil firm in Japan that buys Iranian oil has been in separate talks with the government on curbing oil imports from the Middle East nation, but the government has not instructed them to attain a specific percentage figure for cuts.

Akihiko Tembo, head of the Petroleum Association of Japan and chairman of Idemitsu Kosan Co, told reporters, "Simply put, I think it means to reduce (imports) by 10-20% (per year that Idemitsu has reduced over the years)."

Japan is estimated to have reduced oil purchases from Iran by 15-22% in the second half of last year, a move lauded by the US, which on Tuesday decided to give a six-month reprieve to banks in Japan and 10 EU nations from the threat of being cut off from the US financial system.

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