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Tokyo’s new sanctions against Russia to exert very minor influence — Japanese expert

September 25, 2014, 18:09 UTC+3 TOKYO
The introduction of sanctions creates an atmosphere of economic insecurity and the sanctions can indirectly influence business with Russia
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TOKYO, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Japan’s additional sanctions imposed against Russia on September 24 due to the situation in Ukraine will have a very minor or zero influence on both countries, professor of Seikei University’s Faculty of Economics Mamoru Nagano told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“The sanctions imposed on Wednesday [September 24] have only the effect of announcement. Japan demonstrated that it followed the US and EU policy in its approach towards Russia,” he said.

However, Nagano said: “These sanctions won’t have real impact either on the economy of Russia or on the economy of Japan.”

“The financial market did not react to Japan’s de facto ban on five Russian banks from issuing securities. Their relations with Japan were earlier insignificant. The effect of sanctions in the financial sphere is close to zero,” he said.

Infographics Economical sanctions against Russia Economical sanctions against Russia
The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
The current measures can only have an indirect effect. “Japanese companies, primarily car makers, actively export their products to Russia, including through third countries. The introduction of sanctions creates an atmosphere of economic insecurity and the sanctions can indirectly influence business with Russia,” Nagano said.

On Wednesday, September 24, the government of Japan imposed sanctions against Russian major state-owned banks over Russia’s stance on developments in neighbouring Ukraine. The new sanctions apply to Sberbank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), Vneshtorgank (VTB), Gazprombank and Russian Agricultural Bank. The sanctions ban these banks from issuing securities in Japan.

First round of Japanese sanctions against Russia

In early August, the Japanese government approved the third portion of sanctions on Russia over the situation in Ukraine. The country published the names of 40 individuals and two organizations which, in Tokyo’s view, “are involved in destabilisation of the situation in Ukraine.”

The sanctions list included Crimean officials, representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luрansk People’s Republics and two Crimean companies. According to these sanctions, if the accounts of those individuals on the sanction list are found at Japanese banks they will be frozen.

As Japanese officials earlier admitted, these sanctions were mostly symbolic and were intended to demonstrate solidarity with the steps taken by the United States and the European Union. Tokyo had avoided until now taking any measures affecting economic relations between Japan and Russia.

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