TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Trade Minister Yukio Edano said on Tuesday he would ask for Saudi Arabia's continued support to help Japan secure a stable oil supply when he meets with Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi later in the day.
"In general, Saudi Arabia has provided the greatest cooperation over many years in regards to a stable crude oil supply. I want to thank him for that and ask for continued cooperation," Edano told a news conference.
Japan has cut its crude imports from Iran amid tighter Western sanctions aimed at limiting Tehran's nuclear program.
Edano also said that Japan is in touch with the European Union on insurance coverage for Iranian oil shipments. The EU's restrictions on Iran are due to take effect in July.
The Trade Minister, who holds the energy portfolio, also said that power supply outlook for this summer in Japan's western region of Kansai looks tough but repeated that he hoped to avoid issuing a mandatory power restriction order.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)