Japan mulling further economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine war

Japan is considering imposing additional economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, with Western nations having decided to strengthen bans on vehicle exports, the top government spokesman said Tuesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference that the government will discuss what concrete steps Japan will take "in light of European and U.S. punitive measures," adding nothing had been decided.

While Japan has prohibited shipments to Russia of luxury vehicles worth more than 6 million yen ($43,000) since April last year, the planned additional sanctions could cover less expensive used cars that are in high demand in Russia, pundits said.

Matsuno also criticized Russia's withdrawal from a deal enabling Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, saying the decision was "extremely regrettable" and Japan will closely monitor its impact on the global food supply.

In collaboration with the Group of Seven countries and the international community, Japan will "strongly urge Russia to return to the grain export framework to ensure the initiative restarts," Matsuno said.

© Kyodo News