Japan is phasing out Russian oil and coal

In this still image taken from a video posted on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Telegram channel, smoke rises after a Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Telegram channel via AP

TOKYO — Japan is expelling eight Russian diplomats and trade officials and will phase out Russian coal and oil imports.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that Moscow must be held accountable for “war crimes” in Ukraine and pointed to a “critical moment” now in efforts to get the Russian government to end its invasion of Ukraine.

He said Japan would also ban imports of wood, vodka and other Russian products, and ban any new Japanese investment in Russia. It will also tighten sanctions against Russian banks and freeze the assets of around 400 additional individuals and groups.

Reducing Russian fossil fuel imports is a tough choice for resource-poor Japan and could mean a shift in its energy policy towards more renewables and nuclear power. Russia accounts for about 11% of Japan’s coal imports.

Earlier on Friday, Japan’s Foreign Ministry announced it was expelling eight Russian diplomats and trade officials, joining similar moves in European countries.

Comments are closed.