Japan to join global release of oil reserves

The Japanese government has decided to release state oil reserves for the first time, after the United States announced the same move to help curb the spike in crude oil prices.

The government stockpiles enough oil for about 140 days of domestic consumption. It had been considering releasing some portion of those reserves.

Government officials now plan to provide the market with a reserve surplus worth several days' consumption and study whether to release more.

Also on Tuesday, India announced that it will release five million barrels of oil from its reserves.

The Petroleum Ministry said in a statement that India strongly believes that the price should be reasonable and be determined by market forces.

It also says "India has repeatedly expressed concern at the supply of oil being artificially adjusted below demand levels by oil producing countries, leading to rising prices and negative attendant consequences."