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Japan to decide on more sanctions against Russia based on US, EU position — official

September 18, 2014, 9:02 UTC+3 TOKYO
The new sanctions may for the first time apply measures in the financial and energy spheres
1 pages in this article
© EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

TOKYO, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Japanese government will make a decision on additional sanctions on Russia with regard for the US and European Union’s positions, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

Asked about the sanctions, he said the additional sanctions would be imposed based on the situation around Ukraine and the actions on the United States and European Union. Tokyo media reported on Thursday that the sanctions’ details would be announced on September 19. The new sanctions may for the first time apply measures in the financial and energy spheres. However, in any case these measures will be relatively moderate, Japanese government sources say.

According to the media, the new sanctions will also expand the list of persons whose entry in Japan is banned and whose assets in the country, if any, will be frozen.

In April, Tokyo said it suspended issuing entry visas to 23 Russian nationals but their names had not been made public. Japan also suspended consultations with Russia on easing the visa regime and refused to begin talks on a number of other issues, including in the area of economic cooperation. In July, the Japanese government said it would freeze assets of 40 more people and two Crimean companies.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Kyodo news said on Thursday, quoting government sources that the measures would be “restrictive” in an attempt to minimise adverse effects on a bilateral territorial issue.

The government is considering toughing restrictions on financial and energy transactions, they said, in addition to previously imposed sanctions including freezing assets held in Japan by 40 individuals and two groups involved in Russia's annexation of Crimea and the instability in eastern Ukraine.

Japan, as a member of the Group of Seven industrialised nations, has decided to impose fresh sanctions on Russia to act in concert with the United States and European Union.

The government has decided to go ahead with fresh sanctions following discussions at the National Security Council on Tuesday.

But it does not want the issue to have a major impact on bilateral talks over Russian-held islands called the Northern Territories in Japan, according to the sources. “We plan to make the measures restrictive to some extent,” a Japanese government source said.

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