Kishida's Decision on Extra Russia Sanctions Spark Worries

Politics

Tokyo, April 9 (Jiji Press)--Weighing its cooperation with the United States and European countries, the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made tough decisions to stop coal imports from Russia and expel Russian diplomats as fresh sanctions on Moscow following the revelation of a series of atrocious acts by Russian troops against Ukrainians.

But as these measures will be bound to affect people's lives, Japanese ruling coalition officials are voicing concerns ahead of this summer's election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

"We have to strictly pursue the responsibility for the barbarous acts. Japan will ban coal imports from Russia," Kishida said at a press conference Friday.

The Japanese government had been gradually expanding its sanctions on Russia since late February, when Russia started to invade Ukraine, but had consistently stopped short of going as far as to decide on restricting Russian coal imports partly out of concern over a serious economic impact on Japan, which depends on fuel from Russia to a certain extent.

A coal import ban could be "a sanction on Japan, not on Russia," so energy-related sanctions will be impossible, a source at the prime minister's office said Monday.

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Jiji Press