updated 9/6/2005 12:47:05 AM ET 2005-09-06T04:47:05

The Japanese government Tuesday unveiled plans to release some of its strategic oil reserves held by refiners to the oil market.

Shoichi Nakagawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry said the country will start releasing from Wednesday about 200,000 barrels a day of crude oil and refined products from its oil reserves held by refiners to the market.

“We are not planning to release any government-controlled crude oil stocks at this time,” Nakagawa said.

The International Energy Agency announced Friday that its 26 members, including Japan, would draw on 2 million barrels a day of oil over the next 30 days to help offset the loss of output and refining capacity in the U.S. caused by Hurricane Katrina, and restore confidence in the market.

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