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Japan set to cede LNG import crown to China

Tokyo looks to ammonia as alternative in pursuit of energy security

An LNG carrier unloads at a power plant on Tokyo Bay. Japanese imports of the fuel have been on the decline due to the maturing domestic market.

TOKYO -- China is on track to overtake Japan as the world's largest buyer of liquefied natural gas, yet another sign of Beijing's economic ascendance and the relative decline of Tokyo's standing. 

Chinese LNG imports are projected at 75.5 million tons this year, according to analytics firm Rystad Energy, edging out Japan's 75.1 million tons.

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