Japan PM: Govt yet to decide on Iran oil cuts

Japan PM: Govt yet to decide on Iran oil cuts

Japan's prime minister said Friday the government has yet to decide on whether it will reduce oil imports from Iran in line with U.S. sanctions, saying businesses implications need to be considered, the Associated Press reported.

Yoshihiko Noda's comments retreated from the strong support voiced a day earlier by his finance minister, Jun Azumi, who said Japan would start reducing oil imports as soon as possible.

Noda described Azumi's remarks as a "personal view," and said his government needs to first consult with businesses about the sanctions, reflecting the importance of gaining consensus in Japanese society, as well as technical aspects of what such a decision would involve.

Noda didn't rule out Japan's participation in the sanctions effort, and said he shared strong concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

"Japan's basic stance is to resolve such matters diplomatically and peacefully," he said during a news conference after he announced a new Cabinet lineup. "We need to consult with the business community, and we need to work out details with U.S. officials. We have to think about the implications for Japanese banks, and what measures are needed to resolve possible negative impact."

Washington is seeking to win global support for sanctions aimed at halting what Western governments say is Iran's effort to develop nuclear weapons. The sanctions, targeting Iran's main export of oil, would bar financial institutions from the U.S. market if they do business with Iran's central bank.

Azumi's supportive comments Thursday came after a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who had traveled to China and Japan this week partly to muster support for the sanctions. He got a cool response from Beijing.

Tehran denies the West's allegation that the program is aimed at building nuclear weapons.

Earlier Friday, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba also took a cautious stance toward the sanctions, warning that the move could drive up global oil prices that would only benefit Tehran and hurt the global economy.

Japan is heavily dependent on imported oil and natural gas to meet its energy needs. It obtains about 9 percent of its oil from Iran, but that portion has steadily declined over the last five years. Japan's energy demands have increased even more since it shut down many nuclear plants in the wake of last year's tsunami and the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

"We need to respond carefully and wisely," Gemba said during a joint news conference with visiting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. He emphasized that maintaining stable oil prices was crucial to the effort.

"What's going to happen if oil prices surge is that sanctions will not be effective," Gemba said. "The higher oil prices, the more affluent Iran becomes," he said, apparently referring to the likelihood of some countries ignoring the sanctions and continuing to buy from Iran.

Rising oil prices could "have an adverse effect not only on the Japanese economy but also the entire global economy," he said, adding that his recent trip to the Mideast was made in anticipation of possible sanctions on Iran.

Gemba said Iranian oil accounts for about 9 percent of Japan's oil imports, having decreased from 500,000 barrels per day to 300,000 barrels per day over the past five years.

Juppe, however, brushed off Gemba's concerns about oil prices, saying that similar sanctions against Libya in the past did not drive up oil prices.

"Minister Gemba sounds extremely wary of higher oil prices, but I don't think that would necessarily be the case," Juppe said. "Once we had a similar situation with Libya but that didn't lead to higher oil prices. We also believe we can obtain oil from other oil producing countries."

He also said the impact from the suspension of transactions with Iran's central bank would be "minimal."

"I think we should prioritize what we consider a more pressing issue - the economy or nuclear weapons development," Juppe said. "We have to decide which is more important."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Iran updates COVID-19 protocols for international travelers
Iran updates COVID-19 protocols for international travelers
Turkey sees increase in number of Azerbaijani citizens visiting country
Turkey sees increase in number of Azerbaijani citizens visiting country
Azerbaijan's tourism agency prepares project for tourism dev’t in Karabakh
Azerbaijan's tourism agency prepares project for tourism dev’t in Karabakh
Loading Bars
Latest
Problem loans in Azerbaijani banks decrease for year
28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions continue in Baku (PHOTO)
Number of client accounts in Azerbaijani banks increases
Turkey discloses volume of cargo transshipped via Zonguldak port in 9M2021
Iran eyes increase in exports via customs of Markazi Province
Finalists in individual trampoline among men announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Close relations between Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey are important – Iranian President
Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan discuss current areas of bilateral relations
Azerbaijan provided financial and humanitarian assistance to about 80 countries to support their fight against coronavirus - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan to allocate at least $1.3 billion for building new cities and towns in liberated territories in 2022 - President Ilham Aliyev
Our strategic foreign exchange reserves exceed our state external debt by over six times - President Ilham Aliyev
Over past 18 years, economy of Azerbaijan developed rapidly - President Ilham Aliyev
Finalists in double mini trampoline among women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Today I can say that Zangazur corridor becomes reality - President Aliyev (FULL SPEECH)
Confident that ECO Member States will benefit from Zangazur corridor - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijan achieved favourable investment climate as result of large-scale reforms - President Ilham Aliyev
Finalists in tumbling among men announced at 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Australia confirms two cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant
Zangazur Corridor to contribute to economic development of region - Turkish FM
President Ilham Aliyev participating in 15th Summit of Heads of ECO member-states in Turkmenistan (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry presents weekly review (VIDEO)
Final day of 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions starts at National Gymnastics Arena in Baku (PHOTO)
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrives in Turkmenistan for visit (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs meet at Economic Cooperation Council's meeting in Ashgabat
Georgia imposes new regulations for citizens from 8 countries
Turkey, Turkmenistan sign deals, strengthen ties in Erdoğan's visit
Indonesia bans arrivals from 8 African countries to curb Omicron variant
Volume of goods loaded/unloaded in Iranian ports up
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 volume of loans issued to energy, chemistry and natural resources decreases
Kyrgyz president leaves for Turkmenistan for working visit
Kyrgyzstan adds 41 fresh COVID-19 cases
Access to finance remains major challenge for small businesses in Georgia - IFC
847 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Parliamentary elections begin in Kyrgyzstan
Cooperation with regional countries, Iran’s top priority - İranian president
Spanish police march in Madrid to protest against 'Gag Law' reform
Storm Arwen: Third person dies as gale-force winds hit UK
U.S. imposes travel ban from eight African countries over Omicron variant
Israel to ban entry of foreigners from all countries over Omicron
Saudi Arabia allows entry of all travelers who received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Two workers die in accident preparing Spanish stadium for cup game
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on November 28
UK, Germany and Italy detect Omicron coronavirus variant cases
Results of Sochi summit fully reflect position of Azerbaijan - Russian expert
Awarding ceremony third day held as part of 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in Baku (PHOTOS)
Winners in synchronized trampoline jumping at 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in Baku determined
Baku names winners of World Age Group Competitions in jumping on double mini-trampoline for men
28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions: Russian gymnast takes first place in tumbling
Baku names winners of World Age Group Competitions in jumping on double mini-trampoline for women
Azercell announces contest on social network
Gymnast from Kazakhstan win gold in acrobatic jumping at 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions
Best moments of third day of the World Age Group Competitions in Trampoline Gymnastics and Tumbling in Baku (PHOTOS)
World age group competition in Baku - Russian gymnast wins first place in individual trampoline jumping
Russian gymnast wins gold in individual trampoline jumping in Baku
Turkmenistan boosts imports of electrical goods from Turkey
Turkmenistan agrees to participate in Lapis-Lazuli project
Smoking to be banned in taxis in Georgia
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
11,358 people received COVID-19 vaccine in Kyrgyzstan over past day
Prepared hard for the 28th World Competition in Baku - athlete from Denmark
Finalists in synchronized trampoline jumping among men and women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Finalists in individual trampoline jumping among men announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Azerbaijan expects mutual steps from Armenia towards achieving peace - FM
Azerbaijani, Turkish FMs meet at Economic Cooperation Council's meeting in Ashgabat
Phone conversation held between Presidents of Azerbaijan and Belarus
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,617 more COVID-19 cases, 1,979 recoveries
ECO Council of FMs supports Azerbaijan's proposal to establish Clean Energy Center (PHOTO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Finalists in double mini-trampoline jumping among men announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Finalists in acrobatic jumping among men named at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Azerbaijani gymnast Seljan Mahsudova reaches finals of World Age Group competition
Kazakhstani Astana- Motors to produce Hyundai cars in Uzbekistan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 27
Finalists in acrobatic jumping among women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Novavax developing vaccine that targets new COVID-19 variant
Eni sells some stakes to Snam
28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions underway in Baku (PHOTOS)
Azerbaijan reveals financing of pensions, benefits for 9M2021
Turkish company to organize cotton-textile cluster in Uzbekistan
Finalists in double mini-trampoline among women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Georgia’s imports from Turkmenistan triple
Coach set goal to enter top three in individual trampoline jumping - Russian gymnast
Uzbek National Bank to issue its bonds on Russian Exchange
33,946 new Covid cases registered in Russia in 24 hours
Georgia to replace damaged buildings – Mayor of Tbilisi
Meeting in Sochi - new step towards sustainable peace in South Caucasus - Turkey's presidential administration
Turkey's cargo traffic via its Gulluk port for 9M2021 revealed
GUAM shares reviews of results of Georgia's presidency
Uzbekistan to sell shares of its two banks to Russian banks
EBRD to support green innovation in Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan's On Dogan to scale up production of vegetables, melons
Turkey shares data on cargo shipment via its ports from Greece for 9M2021
Azerbaijan limits import of poultry products from number of countries
Number of flights from Iran’s Shahid Beheshti International Airport soars
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Italy for 9M2021
Iran resumes activity of several enterprises in Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan notes increase in agricultural production for 10M2021
Relations between Baku, Moscow experience highest dev’t stage in history of Azerbaijan's independence – experts
Sri Lanka bans travellers from 6 African nations due to Omicron COVID variant
All news