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Japan, Venezuela Agree To Extend Energy Cooperation

4/25/2012 2:33 AM ET

Japan and Venezuela have agreed to extend by three years their energy cooperation thereby increasing Japanese import of Venezuelan oil to meet a growing need for petroleum energy in Japan due to the suspension of its nuclear power plants.

Japanese and Venezuelan Cabinet Ministers in charge of energy made the agreement in Tokyo on Tuesday.

While Japan's industry minister Yukio Edano said Venezuela was a very important energy partner, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said his country could cooperate with Japan in various fields.

The two sides agreed that the government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Venezuela's state-run oil company will extend by three years their technical cooperation in crude drilling and refining, Japanese media reported.

Japan needs more oil imports to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy after last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Last year, only 0.1 percent of Japan's crude oil imports came from Venezuela.

by RTT Staff Writer

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