Japan on Friday has released a statement, mentioning that it will end imports of Russian coal and also made an announcement regarding the expulsion of eight Moscow diplomats over ‘war crimes’ in Ukraine.
The move comes as Ukraine’s allies increase pressure on Moscow following allegations that Russian troops killed civilians in areas around Kyiv.
The Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, said, “Russian troops have killed civilians and attacked nuclear facilities, violating international humanitarian law. These are war crimes that could never be forgiven.”
He said, “We will ban imports of Russian coal, taking a pledge to find alternatives & asking Japanese citizens for their understanding as well as cooperation.”
Japan imports around 11 per cent of its coal from Russia, and the fuel remains a primary plank of the nation’s power generation.
Kishida added that Japan would, in line with other Group of Seven developed nations, work to lower its reliance on other energy imports from Russia, including oil and gas, but he has given no specific timeframe.
He also emphasized fresh sanctions, including new asset freezes and a ban on imports from Russia, including machinery and vodka, and said Tokyo would back efforts to scrutinize Moscow’s actions at the International Criminal Court.
Earlier, the Japanese foreign ministry has made an announcement regarding the expulsion of eight Russian diplomats from the embassy and the trade office.
Japan came in lockstep with Western allies on imposing sanctions against Russia, and has even welcomed several hundred Ukrainians escaping the conflict despite generally accepting very few refugees.
Tokyo had complex relations with Moscow before the Ukrainian invasion, and the two sides have yet to sign a post-World War II peace treaty.