Russia proposes building natural gaspipeline to Japan: Nikkei
TOKYO — Russia has proposed to Tokyobuilding a natural gas pipeline connecting fields in its far east with northernJapan, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The construction of a gas pipeline betweenthe two countries, which has been mooted for decades, would face manyobstacles, including a dispute over islands taken by Russian forces at the endof World War II that has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a formal peacetreaty.
The plan to build a pipeline betweenSakhalin and the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido was presented to Japanlast month by Russia, the Nikkei reported, citing diplomatic sources it did notidentify.
An official in Japan’s Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry involved in gas and oil denied Tokyo had received an offerfrom Russia, when contacted by Reuters. He declined to be identified due to thesensitivity of the matter.
Moscow, which is heavily dependent on taxesfrom oil and gas sales to western Europe, has been trying to shift focus toAsian countries including Japan and China as potential customers for its vastreserves in eastern Siberia.
It has been offering lower priced gas toJapan, which buys about a third of world shipments of liquefied natural gas(LNG), a supercooled form of the fuel, the Nikkei said.
Japan’s imports of LNG have surged in thewake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011, which has led to theshutdown of all the country’s reactors. Russia supplied almost 10% of Japan’sLNG imports last year.
Moscow and Tokyo have been discussing anumber of projects involving LNG supplies to Japan from Sakhalin andVladivostok, but talks have slowed as the Japanese government fell in line withsanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
The Nikkei report comes a day after Russia’sstate-controlled gas company Gazprom said it may drop its Vladivostok LNGproject.
mitokomonalexOct.16, 2014 - 07:28AM JST
Sure Mr. Putin, Go ahead and build yourpipeline to Japan but with your own money. We'll buy your oil at a discountsince you desparately want/need to sell your crude but Japan makes noinvestment whatsoever. Use your own pipes, your own labor, and then we buy.
Russia has a poor trackrecord with Japanand that's the same as having poor credit. You want to sell, bring it over,we'll inspect and pay for it. Sayonara and come again.
Gentlemen, that's how business is supposedto WORK.
paulinusaOct. 16,2014 - 08:24AM JST
Japan must be wary of this deal and theterms. Putin has shown in the past he won't hesitate to turn off the gas to gethis way.