Japan Cautious on Banning Imports of Russian Oil

Politics

Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government appears to be cautious about following the United States in deciding import bans for Russian oil and gas, fearing that further rises in already elevated fuel prices could badly affect people's daily lives.

In response to the U.S. government's overnight announcement of a Russian oil and gas embargo as an additional sanction over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida told reporters on Wednesday that U.S. President Joe Biden understands that many allies are not in a position to take similar measures.

"We'd like to work together with (other) Group of Seven nations and the international community to handle the matter, while considering a stable energy supply and security as the best interests of Japan," he added.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference on the same day, "While cooperating with the international community including our G-7 partners, we'll consider and take effective action in an appropriate manner."

The top Japanese government spokesman avoided further comments on the issue: "We have various exchanges with the United States, Britain and others on a daily basis, but I will refrain from answering questions about such diplomatic exchanges."

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