Japan buys Russian oil above $60-a-barrel cap, breaking with US allies: report

 Japan has almost no fossil fuels of its own, relies heavily on imports for much of its energy needs

Japan has begun purchasing Russian crude oil above the $60-a-barrel cap, breaking with Western allies thanks to an exception authorized by the United States

As many European nations weaned themselves off Russian oil in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Japan stepped up its purchase of Russian natural gas.

Russian oil

Japan has begun purchasing Russian crude oil above the $60-a-barrel cap, breaking with Western allies thanks to an exception authorized by the United States. (Antonio Sempere / Europa Press via Getty Images / File / Getty Images)

Japan has almost none of its own fossil fuels, heavily relying on imports for much of its energy needs. Some analysts believe this dependency heavily influenced Japan’s hesitancy to fully back Ukraine against Russia. To date, Japan is the only Group of Seven members not to have supplied Ukraine with lethal weapons.

Despite the concession, Russian natural-gas imports to Japan are relatively small, accounting for around one-tenth of Japan’s supply and a fraction of Russia’s output, the Wall Journal reports. Most of what Russia exports to Japan comes from the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia’s Far East.


The G7 nations and Australia agreed to a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil to reduce Russia’s income from selling oil while preventing a spike in global oil prices.

Vladimir Arsenyev tanker in Russia

An aerial view shows the Vladimir Arsenyev tanker at the crude oil terminal Kozmino on the shore of Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia, Aug. 12, 2022. (Reuters / Tatiana Meel / Reuters Photos)

The price cap allowed non-EU countries to continue importing Russian crude oil but prohibited shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than the price cap..

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