Tokyo will continue to follow G7’s views on sanctions against Russia, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.


Yoshihide Suga


“As for restrictions that we imposed on Russia, we will continue to follow G7’s views taking the current situation into account, our position hasn’t changed,” he said commenting on Vladimir Putin’s interview to Japanese media.


Suga expressed hope that during Putin’s upcoming visit to Japan, scheduled for December 15-16, “a sustainable discussion on the future of Japanese-Russian relations, including the territorial issue, will take place based on the president’s relationship of trust” with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


In an interview to Japanese media, published on Tuesday, Putin said that Russia needed to understand to what extent Japan was independent in making decisions in order to develop relations. The president pointed to sanctions imposed on Moscow by Tokyo that were part of Japan’s alliance obligations.


Japan’s government imposed sanctions on Russia over the situation in Ukraine. In March 2014, Tokyo suspended bilateral consultations on easing visa requirements and indefinitely postponed talks on three agreements concerning investment cooperation, cooperation in the exploration of outer space and the prevention of dangerous military activities. After that, Japan announced that 23 officials from Russia’s state and other bodies would not be able to receive Japanese visas, however, their names were not made public.


Besides that, Tokyo decided to confiscate the Japanese property, if any, of 40 individuals connected to Crimea, as well as the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and two Crimean companies. In addition, the Japanese authorities banned Russia’s Vneshtorgbank, Vnesheconombank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank and Sberbank from issuing securities with maturities of over 90 days without special permission. As reported, Japan has also stepped up inspections aimed at preventing weapons and military technologies exports to Russia.