TOKYO: Speeding up the restart of nuclear reactors halted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident may be Japan’s “best option” for riding out any oil and gas shortages that result from sanctions imposed on Russia, a senior ruling party lawmaker said on Tuesday (Mar 8).
Japan has repeatedly said that, in the event of a possible US-led embargo on Russian oil, it would work with the Group of Seven nations to respond appropriately. There has so far been no impact on its energy supply from the situation.
Such an embargo would have a large impact on Russia, but it would hit Japan hard as well, said Itsunori Onodera, a former defence minister and senior lawmaker in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
“It’s a question of whether we could endure this,” he told Reuters in an interview.
Other natural gas and oil producers would have to step up to cover what Russia currently supplies to make this a viable option, he added. Japan relies on Russia for 5 per cent of its oil and about 8 per cent of its LNG. Russia is Japan’s fifth-biggest supplier of crude oil and liquified natural gas (LNG).
An even better option would be hastening the restart of Japanese nuclear reactors, he added.