By MARI IWATA
TOKYO -- Japan increased its reliance on Russia for its
fossil fuel imports in 2012, as the Asian country, which is
experiencing continuous outage of nuclear power, bought more
hydrocarbons from the energy-producing giant to operate its
thermal power stations at full capacity.
Japan's imports of liquefied natural
gas from Russia rose 17% to 8.3 million metric tons last
year, while its imports of Russian crude oil increased 10% to
10.02 million kiloliters, or about 172,000 bpd, the Ministry of
finance said Wednesday.
Japan also imported 8.12 million tons of thermal coal from
Russia in 2012, up 8.1% from the previous year, MOF said.
Russia has been targeted by Japan as a key energy supplier
because of its rich hydrocarbon reserves in East Siberia and
To diversify its customer base away from Europe, Russia is
expanding its infrastructure to support its energy exports to
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