Japan to release 7.5M barrels of oil amid Russian-Ukraine war

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 Japan said on Friday that it would release 7.5 million barrels of reserved oil amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the country’s industry minister announced.

The move is part of collective action by members of the International Energy Agency (IEA), as agreed last Tuesday, “to stabilize oil markets” after the war between Kyiv and Moscow broke out, Minister Koichi Hagiuda said.

“With 60 million barrels in total to be released jointly by the 31 IEA members, Japan ranks second in share after the US, which will release 30 million barrels,” Hagiuda told a press conference, according to the Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

Russia, one of the world’s major oil producers and its largest exporter, launched a war on Ukraine on Feb. 24, drawing international outrage, with the EU, US, Japan, and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

According to UN figures, 227 civilians have been killed and 525 injured in Ukraine since the start of the war. Ukrainian authorities, however, put the death toll at over 2,000.

More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

“The 7.5 million barrels to be released by Japan corresponds to about four days of domestic consumption, with the government set to reduce mandatory private-sector oil reserves to 66 days’ worth from the current 70 days’ worth for a month,” the Japanese industry ministry said.

“We will continue to encourage oil-producing nations to increase their output,” Hagiuda said.

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