News ID: 219505
Published: 0231 GMT August 07, 2018

Japan demands exemption from US oil sanctions on Iran

Japan demands exemption from US oil sanctions on Iran

Japanese energy supply should not be affected by US sanctions on Iran, said Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry on Tuesday at a news conference.

During the second round of talks in Washington over August 1-2, 'the Japanese side insisted on the basic principle that [the US sanctions] should not affect energy supply or have a negative impact on Japanese corporate activities', Hiroshige Seko told the news conference in Tokyo on what Japan had told the US during talks in Washington last week, reported IRNA.

Seko's comments came as Japan is seeking an early exemption from the US on its sanctions against Iran as among its highest priorities for the country's energy security as well as local refiners' need for Iranian oil, a top government official told S&P Global Platts on July 24.

Ryo Minami, the director general of oil, gas, and mineral resources at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said that it was a firm principle on the part of the government to obtain an exemption.

He added that Japan was considering to continue importing Iranian crude and that the government would convey this position to the US and seek understanding for the Japanese position.

Minami further said Japan should be exempt from the US sanctions because of the country's reduction in Iranian oil imports in recent years.

Exports of Iranian crude oil to Asia fell to 1.76 mbd in July from 1.85 mbd in June as demand from South Korea and Taiwan dissipated as the former turned to other countries for condensates.

However, loadings to China were 799,452 bpd in July, up from 722,100 bpd in June. Last week, a news report said Chinese officials has rejected US requests to cut imports of Iranian oil but added that China's imports might not rise further than current levels.

Flows to India in July were higher despite some Indian refiners saying they would reduce their reliance on Iran. Iran's oil exports to India rose by more than 40,000 bpd from June to 706,452 bpd in July.

India finds itself in a diplomatic predicament as it tries to maintain stable oil supplies without attracting the ire of the US administration. But for now India's thirst for Iranian crude has not diminished and has even grown sharply year on year.

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