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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid