Japan to freeze assets of 3 Belarusian banks, ban more exports to Russia

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan will freeze the assets of three Belarusian banks from April 10 following new sanctions against the country over its involvement in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.

Payment and capital transactions with the three Minsk-based banks - Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt and Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus - will require government permits, the ministry announced.

The step followed the European Union's measure to block those banks from SWIFT, the international payments network.

To tighten sanctions, Tokyo is set to ban exports to Russia of an additional 57 items, which will be widened from the current list of items that can be diverted for military use.

The Japanese government added 31 items - including semiconductors, communication equipment, sensors, radars and encryption devices - to its latest list on Friday.

It also added 26 technology packages including software. The new export curbs, which will exempt shipments for humanitarian purposes, will take effect next Friday.

(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Sam Holmes and Jan Harvey)

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