Japan steps up sanctions on Russia with G7 nations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the G7 Summit. Photo: Eugene Hoshiko-Pool/Getty Images

Japan will place additional sanctions on Russia after the Group of Seven (G7) summit the country hosted last week agreed to step up measures to punish Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Friday, May 25.

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Matsuno, Tokyo’s top government spokesperson, also condemned Russia’s move on Thursday, May 26, to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, saying it would further intensify situations around the invasion of Ukraine.

“As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during wartime, Japan never accepts Russia’s nuclear menace, let alone its use,” Matsuno told a regular press conference.

The leaders of G7, including the United States, Britain, Germany and France, last week showed their resolve to support Ukraine with additional military aids and sanctions on Russia, at the annual summit held in the world’s first atomic-bombed city Hiroshima.

In a co-ordinated action with G7, Japan will freeze assets of 78 groups and 17 individuals including army officers in Russia and ban exports to 80 Russian entities such as military-affiliated research labs, according to a Friday foreign ministry statement.

Japan will also ban providing construction and engineering services to Russia, although the details of the measure will be announced at a later date, a trade ministry statement said.