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Russia Offers to Further Increase Energy Supplies to Japan

In the wake of the 11 March Fukushima Dai-Ichi tragedy, Japan has had to make some major changes to its power distribution grid and supplies, as the stricken reactor complex accounted for about 30 percent of Japan's electricity.

Japan’s Trade Ministry earlier this month ordered large companies in Tokyo and areas around the capital to conserve power. Roughly two-thirds of Japan’s 54 reactors are currently offline, most for routine maintenance but several because of the Fukushima incident, as Japanese nuclear power plants are closed every 13 months for scheduled checks and upkeep.

Now Russia is offering to assist Japan by sending it increased supplies of oil and natural gas as its infrastructure retools its energy priorities, Rossiya 24 television reported.

Head of the presidential administration Sergei Naryshkin said during a visit to Tokyo, “I confirmed (Russia's) readiness to continue to provide support to Japan in overcoming the consequences of that awful disaster. Russia is ready to increase energy supplies to Japan even more. In this respect, we are already cooperating in the safe operation of nuclear power stations.”

The rapprochement is unusual, not least because Russia and Japan have a longstanding territorial dispute over the Kurile islands, which Soviet forces seized in the waning day of World War Two and which the USSR subsequently annexed, an action which Japan has never acknowledged and which has precluded Moscow and Tokyo from signing a formal peace treaty.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com


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