Japan is preparing to resume oil imports from Iran after Japanese oil firms suspended imports in October ahead of the second wave of U.S. sanctions, which took effect on Nov. 5, according to Japanese media on Tuesday.
Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters that Japanese firms would prepare for the restart of imports of Iranian crude oil, the Mainichi daily said.
The daily noted that this statement revealed the country's intention to negotiate with the U.S. government to obtain an extension to the 180-day waiver deadline.
Mainichi also quoted a representative from Japan's largest oil company JXTG Holdings Inc.'s PR office, who said the company is considering restarting Iranian oil imports to diversify its supply source while also seeking competitive pricing.
The second wave of renewed U.S. sanctions on OPEC's third largest exporter officially started on Monday targeting Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping, and financial sectors.
The U.S. government granted China, Greece, India, Turkey, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan a 180-day waiver for Iranian oil imports, which eased worries of supply reductions in global markets when sanctions go into effect.
Prior to U.S. sanctions on Iran, Japan decreased its Iranian imports in September by 140 thousand barrels per day (bpd) from the 183 thousand bpd imported in June.
In October, the country suspended its imports from Iran completely.
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