Japan to maintain trade sanctions against Russia for another year

Japan's government decided Friday to keep Russia stripped of its "most-favored-nation" trade status for another year beyond the end of March, with Moscow's aggression against Ukraine showing no signs of ending.

In April 2022, Japan's parliament gave the green light to deprive Russia for a year of benefits such as low tariffs and few trade barriers as punitive economic sanctions following its invasion of its neighbor in February that year.

All imports from Russia will continue to be subject to higher duties until the end of March 2024, including a 5 percent tariff on salmon, up from the previous 3.5 percent, and a 6 percent duty on crabs, up from 4 percent.

But imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas, as well as palladium, a type of rare metal used to purify exhaust gas from vehicles, are not affected because no tariffs were imposed on them even before Russia gained favorable treatment.

According to the Finance Ministry, around 10 percent of imports from Russia, which totaled 1.97 trillion yen ($15 billion) in 2022, will remain subject to the tariff increase.

LNG and other mineral fuels accounted for 68.5 percent of imports in value terms.

© Kyodo News