Tokyo demands information about the ownership change at Sakhalin-2
Japan has requested an explanation from Russia regarding President Putin's recent decree on the Sakhalin-2 LNG project, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said during a press conference on Tuesday.
"As for the Sakhalin-2 project, it is important for ensuring stable energy supplies for our country. I think that the presidential decree does not mean that energy supplies from Sakhalin will be immediately stopped," Hayashi said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
"However, a detailed analysis of information is currently being carried out on how the rights of Japanese companies will be respected under this decree, as well as what impact this will have on LNG supplies to Japan," he added.
Last week, President Putin ordered the re-organization of the Sakhalin-2 LNG project, transferring ownership to a new, domestic, company. The move, which came in response to actions from 'unfriendly states', could force out Japanese investors Mitsui and Mitsubishi, which hold a 22.5% stake in the project. Moscow earlier accused Japan of benefiting from its participation in the project while joining the West in placing sanctions on Russia.
Japan said it would not give up its interests in the project, which is important for the country's energy security. Sakhalin is the closest LNG facility to Japan and shipments from the site on Russia's far eastern coast take less than two days to arrive, compared to around a month for imports from the US. Japan imports 10% of its LNG each year from Russia, mainly under long-term contracts from Sakhalin-2.
The Japanese government is reportedly starting to prepare for a possible energy crisis in the country and has recently told residents and businesses in the Tokyo area to conserve energy to avert blackouts.
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