Japan imported 747.706 barrels of Sakhalin Blend crude oil from Russia in January. This is what emerges from the latest preliminary data published by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, according to which in January the country imported an average of 2,72 million barrels of oil per day, up by 0,3 per cent on an annual basis. Imports from Russia, which make up a fraction of the total, are nonetheless the first that Japan has made from that country for eight months now.
The Russian oil was imported by Japanese refiner Taiyo Oil, which took delivery in December. 94,4 percent of the crude oil Japan imported in January came from the Middle East, up from 91,8 percent in January 2022. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a halt to oil imports on 9 May 2022 crude oil from Russia “in principle”. However, Tokyo has exempted the oil and gas extraction project of Sakhalin 1 and 2, strategic for the national supply of natural gas, from sanctions against Russia.