News / USA

Japan Pledges to Reduce Iran Oil Imports

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Jun Azumi prior to their meeting in Tokyo,  January 12, 2012.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, left, shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Jun Azumi prior to their meeting in Tokyo, January 12, 2012.

Japan and South Korea are among the countries contemplating requests from the United States to reduce or cut ties with Iran's banking and energy sectors. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received a partial commitment Thursday in Tokyo from his Japanese counterpart.  Meanwhile, South Korea is still undecided on how far to go. 

Treasury Secretary Geithner is praising Japan, which he calls a "vital security and economic ally" for standing with Washington and the international community to support a "very important strategic objective."

The United States is pressing other countries to support sanctions against Iran for its nuclear development.

Geithner says the United States is exploring ways to cut off Iran's central bank from the international financial system and to reduce the earnings Iran derives from its oil exports. "We are in the early stages, just the initial stages, of consulting with our allies both in Europe, Japan and around the world on how best to achieve those objectives," he said.

Standing alongside Geithner in Tokyo, Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi expressed understanding for Washington's stance.

Azumi says, in the past five years, his country has already significantly reduced the amount of oil it imports from Iran. He adds that Japan will take specific steps to further cut oil purchases from Iran, which now stand at 10 percent of Japan's total imports. But he did not cite a specific amount or timeline.

The finance minister says Japan, which also buys natural gas from Iran, is also working to cut non-oil imports.

Japan's largest circulation daily, the Yomiuri Shimbun, says Tokyo, in exchange for telling oil importers to change suppliers, will ask Washington to exempt from sanctions Japanese financial institutions dealing with the Iranian central bank.

The bank processes most of the revenues for Iran's oil exports.

Officials at South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance tell VOA no decision has yet been made for this year's level of oil imports from Iran.

South Korea, similar to Japan with few natural resources, also imports about ten percent of its crude oil from Iran.

Last month, South Korea announced it would expand sanctions against the Islamic republic and discourage domestic companies from importing petrochemicals from Iran. But that action did not deal with crude oil shipments.

Analysts say Seoul is moving cautiously because new, more expensive, oil import contracts would need to be signed with other countries and that will take time. Officials here also express concern the shift away from Iranian oil will raise consumer prices and hamper efforts to control inflation in South Korea.

Foreign firms continuing to deal with Iran would face a cutoff of business with the United States.

The United States and other countries want Iran to halt uranium enrichment. They fear Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian government insists its nuclear program is peaceful and intended to increase electricity generation and make medical radioisotopes for cancer treatment.



You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid