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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
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