Japan plans to gradually reduce its reliance on oil imports from Russia, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda was quoted as saying by Tass News Agency on Tuesday.
Hagiuda’s comments came after G7 countries said on Sunday that dependence of Russian energy resources would be reduced slowly to cripple Russia’s oil trade.
"We can’t now refuse to import Russian oil, but we are ready to gradually abandon dependence on Russian energy resources, while finding alternative sources of supplies," Hagiuda said.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had earlier spoken of Japan’s eagerness to join other G7 countries in their decision to halt imports of Russian oil.
Hagiuda confirmed that the Japanese government would announce details on a timeline and specific steps to reduce energy supplies from Russia.
The minister said the Japanese government would also consider national interests while reducing dependence on Russian energy resources.
Last month, Japan announced plans to phase out its coal imports from Russia while seeking other suppliers amid growing sanctions on Moscow.
Japan depends on imports for virtually all of its energy resources, despite being the fifth-largest, energy consumer worldwide. Around 3% of Japan's total oil imports come from Russia.