News / Asia

Japan Expresses New Caution About Cutting Iranian Oil Imports

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks during press conference in Tokyo, January 13, 2012
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks during press conference in Tokyo, January 13, 2012
TEXT SIZE - +

Japan's government has backed away from comments by its finance minister about reducing oil imports from Iran in support of U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda expressed reluctance to make any quick decision on cutting oil imports from Iran.

Speaking to reporters Friday evening in Tokyo, Noda said comments the previous day by his finance minister, Jun Azumi, were a personal opinion, not government policy.

The prime minister said Japan has yet to make a decision about what to do and needs first to consult with the country's business community.

Azumi, standing alongside the visiting U.S. treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, the previous day, said Japan would start reducing Iranian crude oil imports as soon as possible.

But on Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba at a news conference in Tokyo with his French counterpart, Alain Juppe, called for the need “to respond carefully and wisely.” Gemba openly speculated the sanctions could cause oil prices to surge, making Iran more affluent.

The United States and Europe are leading an effort to block Iran's sales of crude oil, its main export, in an attempt to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.

Iran is the source of about 10 percent of crude oil acquired from abroad by both Japan and South Korea.

The two countries have few natural resources and are dependent on imports to meet the needs of their large and highly developed economies.

South Korea also says it has yet to make any decision about cutting crude oil imports from the Islamic republic. Officials say the matter will be discussed next week with an American team led by Robert Einhorn, the State Department's point man on the Iranian sanctions.

Under harsher restrictions enacted by Washington, foreign firms continuing to deal with Iran, including its central bank, would face a cutoff of business with the United States.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid