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Japan former PM doubts Tokyo’s sanctions against Russia reasonable

March 13, 2015, 14:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Crimea referendum was not held under Russia’s pressure and the peninsula’s citizens themselves wished to hold it, Japanese ex-PM said following his visit to Crimea
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Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama

Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama

© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The referendum on Crimea’s reunification with Russia was democratic and in line with the international law, and therefore Tokyo’s sanctions against Russia are unjustified, former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama said on Friday following his visit to the Black Sea peninsula.

"After visiting Crimea I understood that the all-national referendum there was not held under Russia’s pressure and the peninsula’s citizens themselves wished to hold this referendum," said Hatoyama, who heads the Russia-Japan friendship society.

"I believe that Crimea’s accession [to Russia] was held in a democratic way," he said.

Hatoyama sees no violation of the international law and the Ukrainian constitution here.

"If in this situation Japan continues supporting sanctions against Russia, will this be in the interest of my country?" he asked. "I have great doubts in this," Hatoyama added.

The politician also called for resuming discussions on strengthening relations between Japan and Russia and on the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan.

On Thursday, Hatoyama rounded up his three-day visit to Crimea where he arrived despite official Tokyo’s warnings to check it out for himself that Crimea’s residents had been seeking reunification with Russia.

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