Japan to ban Russian oil imports 'in principle,' prime minister says

Reuters -- May 09
Japan will ban Russian crude oil imports "in principle," as part of a Group of Seven (G7) campaign to counter Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said after an online meeting of G7 leaders on Sunday.

The G7 nations committed to ban or phase out imports of Russian oil, marking the latest attempt by the West to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine and the deadly aftermath that ensued.

"For a country heavily dependent on energy imports, it's a very difficult decision. But G7 coordination is most important at a time like now," Kishida said, according to a statement released by the government.

The idea of phasing out Russian oil could give Japan some leeway to scale back imports gradually as it looks for alternative energy sources.

The Japanese government and companies own stakes in oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Russia, including two on Sakhalin Island from which partners Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Shell PLC (SHEL.L) have announced they will exit. ...continue reading