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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/TORU HANAI
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/TORU HANAI

Japan will revoke Russia’s most-favoured country trade status as one of its  sanctions against Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday.

Tokyo will also ramp up sanctions by expanding the scope of asset freezes against Russian elites and banning imports of certain products from the country, said Kishida.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a historic atrocity,” Kishida told reporters. “We’re taking necessary steps including sanctions to apply further pressure on Russia.”

These moves are in line with an announcement on Friday by the US and its allies that they are escalating economic pressure on Russia in a fourth set of sanctions against that country.

Kishida said Japan will co-ordinate with other Group of Seven nations to stop Russia tapping loans from the International Monetary Fund and other global lenders. He did not say on which goods tariffs will be raised with revocation of Russia’s most-favoured status.

But the Mainichi newspaper reports the move will lead to higher tariffs for  seafood products such as sea urchins and crab imported from Russia.

In 2021, Russia accounted for 81% of sea urchins and 47.6% of crab imported by Japan, according to official data.

Japan has already slapped sanctions on Russia-bound exports of chips and hi-tech equipment as well as on dozens of Russian and Belarusian officials, business executives and banks by freezing their assets.



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