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Japan to do its utmost to stop Ukraine conflict, find path to dialogue with Russia — PM

Fumio Kishida stressed that Tokyo would keep supporting Ukraine and putting sanctions pressure on Russia

TOKYO, January 25. /TASS/. Japan, alongside its G7 counterparts, will make efforts to put an end to the Ukraine conflict and to find a path to dialogue with Russia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the lower house of parliament on Wednesday.

Kishida added that to that end, Tokyo would keep supporting Ukraine and putting sanctions pressure on Russia.

According to Kishida, "we will continue supporting Ukraine, simultaneously imposing severe sanctions against Russia in cooperation with the international community, including the G7," to create a path to dialogue with Russia.

In his statement, Kishida was responding to criticism from Kenta Izumi, leader of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party. He pointed out that since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, the leaders of France and Germany have held phone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whereas Japan, in his view, has not made such attempts. The Japanese prime minister had not previously said in the context of the Ukraine crisis that Tokyo would make efforts to seek a dialogue with Moscow.

Japan has so far imposed several sets of anti-Russian sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, which target more than 900 individuals and over 50 entities. Tokyo has also frozen the assets of Otkritie Bank, Novikombank, Sovcombank, VTB, Rossiya Bank, Promsvyazbank, VEB.RF, Sberbank and Alfa-Bank as well as of about 40 Russian organizations and companies.

The list of goods and technologies prohibited for export includes some 500 items. Among them are semiconductors, communications equipment, software, oil refining equipment, cargo vehicles, and processing machines. Exports of luxury items to Russia, as well as Russian gold imports, were also banned. In addition, some chemicals, such as chlorine, methanol, acetone, ethylene, and sodium hypochlorite, were prohibited for export to Russia.

Sanctions pressure on trade is expected to remain in place in the near future. Japan has reiterated that, while holding the G7 presidency in 2023, it will focus on restrictions against Russia and on support for Ukraine. In response, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that the Japanese government "has actually aligned itself with the US policy of isolating Russia".