Japan's dependence on oil from the Middle East remains high despite building up stockpiles and diversifying supply sources based on lessons from the first oil crisis in 1973, which sent prices for oil and other products skyrocketing.

On Oct. 16, 1973, Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries raised their crude oil prices by some 70%, while restricting oil exports to countries that supported Israel.

The moves led to the quadrupling of crude oil prices. In response, Japan stockpiled oil in preparation for contingencies and diversified its sources of supplies.