Japan sanctions Russia, separatists over Ukraine

Japan said Wednesday it will impose sanctions on Russia and individuals linked to Ukrainian regions controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists, after Moscow ordered troops into the rebel “republics”.

The decision follows similar measures by the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Japan strongly condemns Russia’s actions “that infringe on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, violating international law”, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.

“From the viewpoint of responding to the issue in cooperation with the international community, Japan decided to impose sanctions.”

The Japanese sanctions include a ban on issuing visas to individuals linked to the “so-called two republics” as well as freezing their assets and barring trade with the regions.

There will also be a ban on the issuing and trade of Russian government bonds in Japan.

Kishida said further sanctions were possible if the situation worsened.

The United States welcomed the announcement, praising Japan for taking “decisive action”.

“Our allies and partners are speaking with one voice about our shared goals,” US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

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