Japan Bans Exports of High-Tech Goods to Russia

Japan has announced it is banning all exports of cutting-edge goods to Russia as additional sanctions over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ban on exports of 14 high-tech goods, including oil refining equipment, quantum computers, 3D printers, and electron microscopes to Russia will take effect starting May 20, according to the Economic and Trade Ministry.

The ministry stated that the move is in tandem with the international community’s efforts to ensure global peace and the Group of Seven (G7) nations’ commitment to ban shipments of cutting-edge items to Russia.

This follows Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s remarks on Friday that Russia should be “held accountable over its atrocities” in Ukraine and called Moscow’s actions “totally unacceptable.”

Hayashi met with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of a G7 foreign ministers meeting in Germany, during which they agreed to cooperate in maintaining sanctions against Russia, Kyodo News reported.

Kuleba expressed his gratitude to Japan for its decision to impose an embargo on Russian oil “to defund Russian war machine.”

On May 9, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the freezing of the assets of 140 more individuals and the export ban of 70 additional military-related entities to Russia.

“We will continue to cooperate with the respective leaders in the G7 to implement strict sanctions against Russia and provide further support to Ukraine in various aspects in the future,” he said at a press conference in London.

While Kishida had pledged to phase out imports of Russian oil in tandem with the G7 nations’ efforts, he said the plan for Japan to keep its stakes in the Russian oil and natural gas projects remains unchanged.

“We will take steps to phase out in a manner that will minimize adverse effects on [Japanese] people’s lives and business activities, but our plan to maintain our interests [in the projects] remains unchanged,” he told reporters.

Russia is Japan’s fifth-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier.

The Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in Russia was one of Japan’s main LNG supply sources, with an annual capacity of 9.6 million tons.

On April 12, Japan’s cabinet agreed to freeze the assets of 398 Russian individuals, including two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as those of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s wife.

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This brings the total number of Russian individuals sanctioned by Japan to 499.

In a retaliatory move, Russia has barred 63 Japanese citizens from entering the country, including Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, and placed Japan on its “unfriendly nations” list.

Russia has also suspended peace treaty talks with Japan.

Japan criticized Russia’s actions and claimed that it was Russia who initiated the conflict in Ukraine and precipitated the current political situation.

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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