Japan announces new sanctions on Russian nationals and organizations

Japan announced Friday that it will extend sanctions to 15 Russian nationals and nine organizations over the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Herokazu noted in a press conference that the sanctioned individuals include several Russian oligarchs and others close to Vladimir Putin, including Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. The organizations constitute several defense companies, including United Aircraft Corp and Rosoboronexport—the former is a manufacturer of fighter jets while the latter is a state-owned Russian arms exporter.

Herokazu stated that the sanctions are in addition to those announced Wednesday by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. These included stripping Russia of its preferential trade status—a move also taken by the US this week—and working with the “G7 to prevent Russia from receiving financing from leading multilateral financial institutions.” Significantly, Kishida also announced that Japan, a nation long adverse to accepting refugees, “is preparing a system for accepting into Japan people who fled Ukraine,” citing Ukrainian aid during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. 

The US embassy in Japan commended these latest sanctions, stating that they “hit at the heart of Russia’s war machine,” adding that this brings the individuals and entities sanctioned to over 200.

The Japan sanctions mirror those being taken by other pacific nations, including Australia and Singapore.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is scheduled to address the Japanese Parliament this Wednesday.