Japan To Address Impact From Saudi Oil Situation

Japan to address impact from Saudi oil situation

Japan's top government spokesperson says Japan will work with other countries and international institutions to ensure that a reduction in Saudi Arabia's oil production does not adversely affect the people of Japan.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke to reporters on Tuesday, three days after attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities halved the country's crude oil production.

Suga said Japan is naturally keeping a close watch on what impact the incident may have on oil supplies.

But he noted that the International Energy Agency has announced that markets currently have ample commercial reserves.

Suga refused to comment on a US suggestion that Iran was behind Saturday's attacks.

He said he would refrain from speculative comments, as Japan is collecting and analyzing information in cooperation with the US and other countries.

Washington is also calling on Japan and other countries to join an initiative to protect merchant vessels around the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping route.

Suga said Japan will study from various viewpoints how best to safeguard the navigation of Japan-related vessels in the Middle East. He said the government will consider factors such as securing stable oil supplies and Japan's relations with the US and Iran.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed on Tuesday that he will meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York later this month.

Speaking at a meeting of Liberal Democratic Party executives, Abe said he will meet with the Iranian President on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss ways to defuse tensions in the Gulf region.

Abe also said that after New York, he will travel to Belgium for talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other leaders.