Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday that the country will release oil for the first time to try to lower costs by tapping reserves, which would be a first for the resource-poor country.
"Japan has opted to work with the US and sell a portion of the state-owned stockpiles in a way that does not violate the oil hoarding rules," Fumio Kishida said. The oil stockpiling law restricts the release of oil to disaster relief and international political unrest.
To avoid breaking the law, Tokyo intends to release oil stocks that exceed its storage target of 160 days of use. According to a government official, the amount of oil that will be spilled first will be enough to last several days.
To address rising energy prices, the US stated on Tuesday that it will release 50 million barrels of oil from its emergency stockpiles in collaboration with other major energy-consuming countries. A number of other countries are anticipated to follow suit. However, oil prices rose overnight in New York and Tokyo, raising worries about the effectiveness of the measure, given that the amount of oil to be released is only enough to last a few days.