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Japan has said it stands with the United States and other G7 nations who have plans to impose sanctions on Russia.
Pressure has been rising for weeks as a result of an estimate by US intelligence that suggested more than 150,000 Russian and Belarusian soldiers had amassed at various locations along the Ukraine border 'in a threatening position'. A series of satellite images only added to the growing concern.
Today, February 22, Japan confirmed its solidarity with other countries to enforce sanctions on Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to cross the border into two rebel-held regions in eastern Ukraine yesterday.
Since this movement into areas that Putin has recognised as independent entities, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called Russia's advances 'unacceptable and a violation of international law'.
Japan's foreign minister Hayashi Yoshimasa condemned Putin's deployment of troops into Ukraine, Financial Times reports.
He stated: 'Such actions constitute an infringement of the Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and are in violation of international law. They are totally unacceptable and Japan strongly condemns them.
'Japan will continue to monitor the development in the situation with serious concern, and co-ordinate a tough response including sanctions in co-operation with the international community, including the G7.'
TOKYO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Japan on Tuesday said it stood ready to join the United States and other G7 industrialized nations in slapping sanctions on Russia, should President Vladimir Putin order an invasion of Ukraine.— Satoshi Sugiyama (@SatoshiJournal) February 22, 2022
This morning, after holding an emergency Cobra meeting, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that he would be releasing details of sanctions against Russia later today.
Johnson warned that Putin is bent on a 'full scale invasion' of Ukraine and the first sanctions to be announced would be the 'first barrage of UK economic sanctions' against the country, over fears that 'there is more Russian irrational behaviour to come'.
It follows an announcement made by the White House yesterday, which said it would also detail sanctions 'in response to Moscow's decisions and actions,' Reuters reports.
A spokesperson stated: 'We are coordinating with allies and partners on that announcement.'
Kremlin recognition of the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” as “independent” requires a swift and firm response, and we will take appropriate steps in coordination with partners.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 21, 2022
In 2014, after Russia occupied the Crimea, Japan imposed sanctions on the country, which included tighter restrictions on Russian banks, technology exports and a ban on semiconductor chips, as per the Yomiuri newspaper.
It has not yet been revealed what other sanctions Japan are planning to add.
Relations between Russia and Japan have been civil on the basis that more than 12% of Japan's thermal coal and nearly a 10th of its liquefied natural gas was provided by the country last year.
However, alongside its recent 'invasion' of Ukraine, Russia's relationship with China has sparked growing concern.
Finance Minister Schunichi Suzuki said: 'Ukraine is facing a tense situation now, so we must firmly watch how it could affect Japan’s economy.'
Foreign ministers from each country within the G7 are expected to meet later this week.
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