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Japan needs to proactively pursue stable energy supplies through “resource diplomacy,” because oil prices worldwide are expected to remain high due to the sharp rise in energy demand projected for rapidly growing economies, notably China, the government said Tuesday in its annual energy report.

It is important to keep good ties with energy producers in such areas as the Middle East and Russia, by passing on Japan’s experience in energy conservation and establishing domestic oil reserve networks with other Asian economies, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry indicated in its annual white paper on energy policies.

Crude oil futures have topped $70 per barrel since last summer due to damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina to oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico and uncertainties caused by geopolitical risks, including Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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