Recently the NHK News reported the following:
It was understood that among the crude oil that was exported out from east Siberia of Russia since a year ago, Japan had a huge amount; and for Japan a sense of Russia presence had risen gradually as Russia was a new crude oil procurement destination.
In December Russian government prepared a special port in the Far east for the purpose of exporting crude oil to the Asia Pacific region from east Siberia where large-scale development was in progress, the export was to Japan and China, etc. A governmental enterprise that managed a special port held a press conference on the 28th when the export had been started for exactly one year, and results of the export were explained. According to it, the crude oil that had been exported from east Siberia in total had reached 15.3 million tons in these 12 months, Japan had the lion share that accounted for 30% of the total amount. A representative of the governmental enterprise described that "Politics and economy were different things", and was keeping a distance from the dispute over the Northern Territories, and showed the idea of advancing energy cooperation with Japan in the future. For Japan, crude oil from Russia including that from east Siberia during some high importing months had reached almost 10% of total import volume. In order to reduce its dependence on the Middle East where it got almost 90% of its import, Japan was paying attention to the crude oil from east Siberia, and gradually feeling the presence of Russia because it was becoming a new oil buying destination.
It is logical to expect that the influence of Russia over Japan would increase gradually when the latter increases its dependence on Russian oil.