The lower house in Japan has approved a bill that will provide guarantee from the government on insurance for importing crude oil from Iran.
The move marks the first step by a major Asian imported to work around the sanctions imposed by the European Union on import of crude oil from Iran. The bill will now be sent to the upper house of the nation. If passed in the upper house, the bill will become a law by June 27 as the government is likely to end its session next Thursday.
Iran is struggling to find buyers for its crude oil in the international markets due to sanctions by the European countries and US. The governments in Europe and the US are urging Asian countries to reduce oil imports from Iran so as to make their sanctions more effective in order to force Tehran to come clean on its nuclear programme. Iran is suspected of covertly developing nuclear weapons, a charge it denies and maintains that it has the right to harness civilian nuclear energy for generating power.
Japan's government has already received a waiver from U. S. financial sanctions. It is now planning to provide coverage of up to $7.6 billion for each tanker carrying Iranian crude headed towards Japan in case of accidents.