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Japan imposes additional Russian sanctions

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Japan imposes additional Russian sanctions

Japan imposes additional Russian sanctions
Japan imposes additional Russian sanctions. Pictured: Russian lumber awaiting delivery – Photo: Tass

Japan will impose additional sanctions against Russia today for its invasion of Ukraine.

The latest restrictions target timber and machinery imports. Tokyo has steadfastly supported Western sanctions against Russia, imposing them on luxury car exports, refinery equipment, banks and oligarch wealth in previous rounds.

While sanctions helped demonstrate Japan’s support of its Western partners, they have come at the cost of worsening Russo-Japanese relations. Last month, Russia announced that it would withdraw from negotiations with Japan over a post-World War II peace treaty, which was never signed due to an over 75-year dispute over ownership of the Kuril Islands.

Tokyo’s stance on the Ukraine conflict is forcing it to re-formulate its foreign policy approach to China. Prior to the invasion, both former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sought to improve bilateral relations with Russia to distance it from China, hoping to leverage Russia as a on check China’s Indo-Pacific ambitions. While Japan might signal its willingness to return to its status quo ante approach should Russia cease its use of military force in Ukraine, expect Japan to increasingly turn to the West—particularly the US—to meet its security needs and serve as a strategic partner.

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