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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a report released Friday that Japan’s crude oil imports rose for the third consecutive month in August, up 3 percent from a year earlier.

Japan is the world’s largest consumer of oil after the U.S. and China. Crude oil imports increased to 20.6 million kiloliters in August, while imports from the Middle East rose 0.9 percent to 18.1 million kl, the ministry said.

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