Japan will consider ways to help LNG market if supplies disrupted

Japan will consider ways to help LNG market if supplies disrupted- BPN TODAY

TOKYO :Japan, a key importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), will consider ways it can help the international community in the event of the Ukraine crisis disrupting supplies, Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said on Friday.

He declined to confirm media reports that the United States had asked Japan if it could divert some of its LNG imports to Europe if Russia were to cut supplies, saying: “We can’t comment on our diplomatic exchange.”

But Hagiuda told a news conference Japan had been a “driving force in the development of the LNG market” for years, adding: “We would like to consider how we can contribute to the international community.”

But he also said Japan, a resource-poor country, would first needed to secure sufficient energy to avoid any shortage in electricity as more cold weather was forecast.

“We will see if there is anything that can be done after ensuring that the people’s lives are not affected,” he said.

The Ukraine situation had a significant impact on the stable supply of energy to Japan, so Japan would closely monitor the situation, he said.

Russia and the West have been at loggerheads over Ukraine, fanning fears that energy supplies to Europe could be disrupted.

Last week, the United States, the world’s top producer of natural gas, asked Qatar and other major energy producers to examine whether they could supply Europe if flows from Russia were disrupted as a result of the Ukraine crisis.

A source told Reuters last week that Qatar would need U.S. help persuading its buyers to divert gas to Europe, where some 30per cent-40per cent of gas needs are met by Russia.

Jiji news agency reported on Thursday that the U.S. government asked Japan if it could divert some LNG to Europe in the event of any disruption in gas supply from Russia to Europe and that Japan was considering such measures.

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