Japan announced on Friday that it would impose sanctions on Russia’s 15 individuals and nine organizations against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after the government announced the withdrawal of Russia’s “most favored nation”.
According to the Treasury, Japan is currently imposing sanctions on 76 individuals, 7 Russian banks and 12 Russian-based organizations.
This series of sanctions includes a spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, GRU’s military intelligence director, and the frozen assets of Russia’s State Minister of Defense. Sanctions also target several military equipment manufacturers, including United Aircraft Corporation and state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday that the government will revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” status. This is a clause that prohibits members of trade agreements from discriminating against trading partners.
Deletion of status will increase taxes on Russian goods. Fumio Kishida said the move was in line with a statement issued by the United States and its allies to increase economic pressure on Russia.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense also claimed to have detected four Russian amphibious ships sailing in the Tsuruga Strait between Japan’s Honshu and Hokkaido on Wednesday.
The army said Thursday that a Russian ship capable of carrying dozens of military vehicles and hundreds of troops was probably heading for Ukraine.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force first discovered Russian ships on Tuesday and monitored them as they passed west from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan through the Tsuruga Strait.
The Japanese also discovered 10 Russian Navy vessels passing through the Tsugaru Straits by Jiji Press on March 11. report.
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters, “I am concerned that Russian troops may be stepping up operations around Japan as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.” “I will watch carefully with a sense of tension.”
Japan strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and imposed some sanctions to put pressure on Moscow. It banned Russian banks from SWIFT’s global interbank network, blocked the assets of several Russian leaders, including President Vladimir Putin, and banned exports to 49 Russian entities.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a historic atrocities,” Fumio Kishida said at a press conference Wednesday. “We are taking necessary steps, including sanctions to put more pressure on Russia.”
Fumio Kishida announced on March 4 that it would provide Ukraine with defense equipment such as bulletproof waistcoats and helmets to support Ukraine, promising that Ukrainian refugees would accept them even if they had no relatives in Japan.
Japan also sanctioned Belarus for allowing Russian troops to use its territory to initiate an invasion of Ukraine.
Reuters contributed to this report.