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According to a Japanese government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, Tokyo intends to increase its bases for stockpiling crude oil and petroleum products to bolster its preparations for major disasters.
A senior official at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy speaking off the record said, "The existing framework envisaged the situation in which we became unable to import (oil) from the Middle East, but we changed our mind set due to lessons from the March 11 quake and tsunami," The Japan Times reported.
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry head Yukio Edano said in a meeting with Akihiko Tembo, chairman of the Petroleum Association of Japan, that the government was considering how to diversify Japan's oil reserves to prevent a recurrence of the gasoline shortages seen after the March disaster in Fukusjima, in areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami centered on Fukushima prefecture, which devastated Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Daichi nuclear reactor complex in Fukushima.
Crude oil currently composes more than 99 percent of state stockpiles as Tokyo earlier focused on preparing for a possible disruption of overseas crude supply.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com