The Japanese government is expanding its ban on exports to Russia in an effort to undermine Moscow’s industrial base as a response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This move comes after several previous rounds of penalties imposed by Tokyo, which has joined a campaign of sanctions led by the United States.
On Friday, Japan’s Trade Ministry announced that it would be widening its list of embargoed products to the Russian Federation starting from August 9. The ministry stated that this decision was made “in light of the current international situation surrounding Ukraine,” and Japan aims to contribute to international efforts for peace by implementing a ban on exports to Russia.
The ban will target goods that contribute to the strengthening of Russia’s industrial base and will cover a wide range of products, including metals like iron, steel, nickel, copper, and aluminum. Additionally, industrial chemicals, plastics, lumber, textiles, electronics, machinery, and scientific instruments will also be included in the ban. It will also be illegal to export vehicles with engines larger than 1.9 cubic centimeters, electric vehicles, yachts, and furniture.
This latest decision follows a series of Japanese sanctions imposed on the Russian economy since Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine last year. These sanctions have included asset freezes, export bans, and the revocation of Moscow’s ‘most-favored nation’ trade status. Japan has also blacklisted 80 Russian military-related companies and organizations, including those involved in heavy machinery production.
In May, after announcing an earlier round of penalties, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno stated that Tokyo would be strengthening its Russia sanctions in line with other Group of Seven countries in the hopes that they would contribute to improving the situation in Ukraine.
In response to Japan’s actions, the Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that Moscow is considering retaliatory steps against Japan and views their penalties very negatively. The Kremlin had previously blacklisted nearly 400 Japanese lawmakers and banned the entry of dozens of senior officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in response to earlier sanctions and Japan’s unfriendly, anti-Russian position regarding Ukraine.
It is worth mentioning that the expanded export ban by Japan on Russia will have significant implications for bilateral trade between the two countries, as well as for Russia’s industrial sector. As tensions continue to rise in the region, it remains to be seen how these new measures will impact the ongoing conflict and efforts for peaceful resolution.