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Japan’s fossil fuel imports

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Last year Japan became the second largest importer of fossil fuels in the world, second only to China. The main reason for this was the fall out of the Fukushima disaster in 2011 which resulted in the suspension of all nuclear activity in the country. Japan is now the world’s third largest consumer and importer of oil in the world. It also ranks as the world’s largest importer of LNG and the second largest importer of coal. Japan needs to import such high levels as it has very limited domestic resources which meet less than 15% of the total primary energy demand.


  • Oil is the largest source of primary energy consumption in the country.
  • Japan is the third largest net importer of crude and petroleum products having imported 4.6 million bpd in 2012.
  • Japan is primarily dependent on the Middle East for its crude oil imports.
  • In 2012 83% of all oil imports originated from the Middle East.
  • Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier of oil to Japan at over 1.2 million bpd.

Natural gas

  • Japan relies on imports to meet nearly all of its natural gas needs.
  • In 2012 the country consumed 4.4 trillion ft3 of natural gas.
  • More than 95% of Japan’s gas demand is met by LNG imports.
  • Japan uses 64% of its natural gas in the power sector.
  • A third of LNG imports originate from regional suppliers in Southeast Asia.


  • Domestic coal production ended in the country in 2002.
  • Japan imports most of its coal from Australia.
  • Until 2011 Japan was the world’s biggest importer of coal. It was surpassed by China.

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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