The Japanese Government is to gradually cut its dependency on oil imports from Iran. In 2011, the Middle East nation exported approximately 327,000bpd to Japan, accounting for 13% of its total oil exports.
According to Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi, Japan has already reduced its dependency on Iranian oil by 40% in the last five years.
"We wish to take planned and concrete steps to further reduce this share, which now stands at 10%," Azumi said.
The news comes after the US imposed sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and refiners' ability to buy and pay for crude. The European Union is also weighing an embargo on Iranian oil as the country pushes its nuclear programme.
Japan is Iran's second-biggest customer for oil after China, and is urging major oil-producing nations in the Middle East to increase their exports in order to make up for any shortages.
Following the nuclear crisis at Fukushima in 2011, Japan has turned away from nuclear power and is using increasing amounts of thermal power to produce energy. The country is also depending more heavily on imported crude oil because of the closure of its nuclear power units.
The Telegraph reported that the European Union may agree its own embargo on Iranian oil next week. The 27 member countries account for a further 24% of Iranian crude oil exports.
Iran may face the loss of 37% of its total oil exports of 2.5 million barrels per day because of the imposition of oil embargos on Iran by Japan and the EU.