TOKYO, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The Japanese Ministry of Finance said Thursday imports of liquefied natural gas in January increased 1.8 percent from December, but were down year-on-year.
Japan imported approximately 8.1 million tons of LNG in January, a 1.2 percent increase from December, though last month's imports were 0.8 percent less than the same time in 2013, the ministry said.
The Platts energy news website reported Australia was the largest supplier of LNG to the Japanese market, sending 1.7 million tons of LNG north to Japan, a 2 percent increase from December and a 10.4 percent increase year-on-year.
Qatar, the largest LNG supplier in the world, sent 1.7 million tons of LNG to Japan in January, an 8.7 percent increase from December and 23.6 percent more year-on-year, Platts reported.
Platts didn't explain the overall year-on-year decline.
Japan started taking on more oil and natural gas for its energy needs after the Fukushima disaster in 2011 crippled the country's nuclear power sector. Tokyo unveiled an energy policy document Tuesday that listed nuclear power as an important electricity source.
Japan before the 2011 nuclear disaster relied on nuclear power for 30 percent of its electricity needs.