Japan until 2004 was the second
largest importer of oil in the world. It was then overtaken by China.
The United States is the largest importer.
" The Indian Ocean is a critical waterway for
global trade and commerce. This strategic expanse hosts
heavy international maritime traffic that includes half of
the world’s containerized cargo, one third of its bulk cargo
and two third of its oil shipment. Its waters carry heavy
traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the
oilfields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia, and contain an
estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil production...
The Ocean features four critically important access
waterways facilitating international maritime trade - the
Suez Canal in Egypt,
Bab-el-Mandeb (bordering Djibouti and
Straits of Hormuz (bordering Iran and Oman), and
Straits of Malacca (bordering Indonesia and Malaysia). These
“chokepoints” or narrow channels are critical to world oil
trade as huge amounts of oil pass through them. "
The Indian Ocean Region: A Story Told with Pictures