Japan to Release State Oil Reserves to Address High Prices

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 23 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to release surplus oil from state reserves to the market for the first time ever in an effort to address elevated crude oil prices, government officials said Tuesday.

Japan will take coordinated action with relevant countries under the initiative of the United States, according to the officials.

It will be the first time for Japan to tap its oil reserves in response to high oil prices. Previously, it released oil from private-sector reserves to alleviate supply concerns after national disasters and political turmoil.

Earlier on Tuesday, the White House said the United States will release 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves in an unprecedented move taken in coordination with major oil-consuming countries, including Japan, China, India, South Korea and Britain, to bring down oil prices.

Japan's oil stockpiles include state reserves and private-sector reserves that mainly oil companies are required to build. As of the end of September, Japan had reserves to cover demand for about 242 days, including state reserves for 145 days and private-sector reserves for 90 days, way in excess of the government target of around 160 days.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press