The government should scrap measures designed to balance supply and demand of petroleum products in nonemergency situations, the Petroleum Council, an advisory body to the minister for international trade and industry, said Monday.

In a report presented to MITI chief Mitsuo Horiuchi, the council said government approval should not be necessary for oil refining firms seeking to construct new refineries and engage in other activities.

Under current laws, the firms are required to seek government approval when they construct new refineries as well as merge or receive business licenses. At the same time, however, the council noted a need for creating a new legal framework to enable the government to act decisively and ensure the nation’s energy security during an emergency.

As preconditions for such speedy action, the government should continue to collect data and information in order to remain knowledgeable about the oil industry, the report says.

The council called for further detailed discussions, specifically on the nation’s oil development and reserve policies, to work toward the legal framework.

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