ECONOMIC IDEAL – TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Japan leading crude oil wholesaler JXTG Holdings Incorporation said it is preparing to resume imports from Iran after the US issued a waiver for Tokyo to continue its purchases of oil from the Islamic Republic.
"We will decide from (the standpoint of) diversifying our suppliers and economic feasibility," said an official of the oil wholesaler as quoted by Reuters.
JXTG, which imported several percent of its annual crude oil supply from Iran, stopped doing so in October only weeks before the US restored sanctions against Iran.
On Monday, the administration of US President Donald Trump restored all Iran sanctions that had been lifted after the 2015 nuclear deal was signed between the country and the five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – as well as Germany.
Later, Washington said it had granted 180-day waivers to eight economics, including China, India, South Korea, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey, from the oil import ban reimposed on Iran by Trump.
Following Washington’s announcement of waivers, Japan’s Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said the country’s oil importers were expected to prepare to resume imports from Iran.
“It would be up to the judgment of private firms, but based on this decision, the (Japanese) companies would likely prepare for resuming Iran crude imports,” Seko told reporters.
Japan is one of Iran’s largest oil importers. As of September, Iranian crude oil accounted for 5 percent of Japan’s crude oil intake, and, as the head of the Petroleum Association of Japan, Takashi Tsukioka, commented in September, Tokyo will try to maintain a good relationship with Tehran despite the sanctions, according to a report by Reuters.