Japan Wants Continued Waiver To Iran Oil Ban

Japan wants continued waiver to Iran oil ban

The Japanese government will seek to be exempt from a trade embargo the US has imposed on Iranian crude oil for longer than the 180-day period Washington has granted.

The sanctions were put in place on Monday. The US issued the waiver to 8 economies, including Japan.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says Iran accounted for 5.5 percent of Japan's crude oil imports last year. The figure is expected to decline because major Japanese oil wholesalers stopped importing Iranian crude in advance of Monday's trade ban.

However, the government attaches importance to having its energy imported from various nations, and has asked to be exempt from the embargo.

Tokyo has been discussing the issue with Washington, including 4 rounds of working-level talks since June. Foreign Minister Taro Kono also discussed the issue with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during telephone talks in September.

Senior ministry officials welcomed the US waiver, but also expressed concern that some Japanese importers will suffer severe consequences should it be enforced for longer than 180 days. They said oil imports from Iran are vital for some entities.