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KSA: The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has reported that Japan’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia amounted to approximately 162 million barrels in the first five months of this year. This accounts for 40.68 percent of Japan’s total oil imports during that period.

At the beginning of 2023, in January, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil imports reached 37.16 million barrels, representing 43.9 percent of the total. The figures for the following months of February, March, April, and May were 33.16 million barrels (43.4%), 32.83 million barrels (42.2%), 30.45 million barrels (35.3%), and 29.36 million barrels (38.6%) respectively.

Additionally, Japan also imported 155.37 million barrels from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which made up 38.38 percent of its total crude imports over the five-month period. The Middle East, as defined by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, accounted for 96.26 percent of Japan’s total oil imports, excluding Iranian oil due to compliance with US and European sanctions.

This region includes Arab countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, and small amounts from Algeria.

Moreover, in May, Japan imported around 76 million barrels of crude oil, with 73.68 million barrels (97 percent) coming from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Further, the United Arab Emirates emerged as the top supplier to Japan during that month, providing approximately 33 million barrels or 43.4 percent of Japan’s total imports.

These import figures highlight Japan’s reliance on Arab oil to sustain its economy, especially with its ongoing restriction on Iranian and Russian oil. Japan’s energy needs heavily rely on oil, which accounts for approximately one-third of its energy consumption. Among the suppliers, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains the leading source, followed by the United Arab Emirates.