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Japan imposes sanctions on 17 more Russians, including billionaires

FILE PHOTO: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
FILE PHOTO: Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg attends a meeting of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

March 15, 2022

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has decided to freeze the assets of another 17 Russian individuals, bringing the total number of sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to 61, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

The move was taken after the United States imposed sanctions on a number of Russian figures on Friday, including billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and 12 members of the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament.

Vekselberg was also a target of Japan’s sanctions, as were 11 members of the Duma and five family members of banker Yuri Kovalchuk, the Treasury Ministry said.

Japan will act in line with other Group of Seven (G7) nations on sanctions, said top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno.

“As for sanctions thereafter, we will continue to monitor conditions and respond appropriately along with other G7 nations,” Matsuno told reporters at a news conference.

Tokyo has also imposed sanctions on the Central Bank of Russia and seven private banks, as well as various Belarusian individuals and the country’s banks and organizations, among others, for their support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters the Ukraine crisis has shown the need to reform the UN Security Council, where Russia has a permanent seat, and said Japan will push to become a permanent member.

As part of tightening restrictions against Moscow, Japan also said it would expand an export ban to Russia, including 31 items including semiconductors, communications equipment, sensors and radar, and 26 technology packages starting Friday.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink, Kantaro Komiya, Tetsushi Kajimoto, and Elaine Lies; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Edwina Gibbs & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Bobby Allyn

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