On 28 July 2014, Japan announced a new wave of sanctions, targeting Russian individuals and entities involved in the annexation of Crimea. Assets held by such persons in Japan are expected to be frozen. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also announced that Japan will cease funding future public-sector projects in Russia – this follows the European Council’s recommendation for the European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to similarly restrict such financing (see our previous blog post of 18 July for more information on this).
Furthermore, Mr. Suga indicated that imports from Crimea into Japan would be restricted. It is expected that these measures will come into effect at the end of this week, following Cabinet approval. In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement describing the proposals as “unfriendly and short-sighted”, and indicated that any such measures would worsen relations between Japan and Russia.
Whilst this announcement does not go far as the new EU measures, it was nevertheless followed by a statement made by the G-7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK) on 31 July 2014. The statement condemns again Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to de-stabilise eastern Ukraine. According to this statement, the additional sanctions on Russia imposed by the members of the G-7 are aimed at “demonstrating to the Russian leadership that it must stop its support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine and tangibly participate in creating the necessary conditions for the political process”.