Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said on an NHK television:
- If we give up our stakes and Russia gets them, energy imports could be more costly for Japan in the long term
- If Japan's stakes in the Sakhalin 1 and 2 oil and LNG projects are obtained by other countries, there is a possibility that those not imposing sanctions against Russia will benefit
But Kishida has noted the projects on Sakhalin, a large island north of the Japanese archipelago, are important in terms of energy security.
Asked about the likelihood of Japan tightening its sanctions against Russia by phasing out or banning LNG imports from the resource-rich country, Kihara said:
- The government will think about how to deal with it when it becomes necessary in light of the unity of the G-7, including Britain, Germany and the U.S.
In 2021, Russian exports made up over 40 % of the LNG consumed in the EU, while resource-poor Japan relied on Russia for about 9 % of its total LNG imports.
Foreign ministers from the G-7 released a statement saying that they are poised to roll out additional sanctions on Russia amid its invasion on Ukraine that has now lasted nearly 3 months.