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Nippon Oil Corp. will reduce its oil imports from Iran in view of uncertainties over the row between that country and Western nations about its nuclear designs, company President Fumiaki Watari said Wednesday.

Nippon Oil is the first Japanese oil firm to announce a cut in oil imports from Iran, which supplies 16 percent of Japan’s oil and is the third-largest oil exporter to Japan after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Watari told a news conference Nippon Oil will cut Iranian oil imports to 120,000 barrels a day from 142,000 barrels per day in 2005. Iranian oil accounted for 14 percent of the firm’s oil imports in 2005.

Nippon Oil will make up the difference with purchases from other countries, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The firm might also increase its imports from Vietnam, where it is developing oil resources, he said.