March 28, 2019 / 3:09 AM / a year ago

Japan extends state-backed insurance for Iran oil imports: government official

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has extended state-backed insurance to cover imports of oil from Iran, potentially allowing the country’s refiners to continue loading crude cargoes from the Middle Eastern nation, a government official told Reuters on Thursday.

The rollover of the insurance was approved by parliament on Wednesday and takes effect from April for one year, the official said.

While the rollover provides insurance cover for imports that Japanese shippers cannot otherwise obtain, refiners are unlikely to load Iranian cargoes from April unless they get a waiver from the United States on sanctions re-imposed on Iran last year.

Japanese refiners have been pushing the government to seek an extension of the U.S. sanctions waivers after an initial 180-day exemption period expires in early May.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; writing by Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Richard Pullin

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