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Japan will not recognize Crimean referendum — chief cabinet secretary

March 17, 2014, 10:32 UTC+3 TOKYO
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that Tokyo intended to closely monitor Russia’s actions after the referendum
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Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga

© ITAR-TASS/EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/POOL

TOKYO, March 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The Japanese government will not recognize the Crimean referendum, as it believes that teh referendum contradicts the Ukrainian Constitution, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo on Monday.

“The referendum is not legally effective, and Japan does not accept the outcome,” Suga told reporters, arguing the event “goes against Ukraine’s Constitution which stipulates that any potential change to its territory should be put to a national vote.” “We will strongly urge Russia to abide fully by international law, respect the sovereignty and territorial integration of Ukraine, and not to annex Crimea,” he said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that Tokyo intended to closely monitor Russia’s actions after the referendum. The minister said Japan would urge Russia not to annex Crimea.

The foreign minister also declined to specify if Tokyo would join possible sanctions against Moscow. “We want to respond appropriately after hearing the debates in related parties such as the European Union, Russia's response and the situation in Ukraine,” Kishida said.

A referendum on the status of Crimea was held on the peninsula on Sunday, March 16. The voter turnout exceeded 81%. Head of the Commission on Referendum Organization of the Crimean Supreme Council Mikhail Malyshev told reporters that 100% of the ballots have been processed.

Some 70 observers from 23 countries were monitoring the referendum. According to some of them, the voting passed in a calm atmosphere, in an organized and transparent way. Head of the mission of international observers Mateusz Piskorski (Poland) said that their final declaration would be announced on Monday morning.

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