Japan bans Russian coal & vodka

Tokyo not ready to sanction oil and natural gas

Japan has restricted coal imports from Russia in connection to Moscow’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Friday. 

Russian troops have killed civilians and have attacked nuclear facilities, gravely violating international humanitarian law. These are war crimes that can never be forgiven … We will ban imports of Russian coal,” Kishida said, urging Japanese citizens to react with “understanding and cooperation.

Russia covers about 11% of Japan’s coal needs, with fossil fuel among the key commodities the country relies on for power generation. Kishida vowed Tokyo would find alternatives to deliveries from Russia.

The PM noted that his country would also move to lower reliance on other Russian energy imports, including oil and gas. However, he did not outline the timeframe for the move.

Tokyo on Friday also placed a ban on Russian machinery and vodka imports, and expelled eight Russian diplomats from the embassy and trade office, sparing, however, the Russian ambassador in Japan, Mikhail Galuzin.

READ MORE: Japan says it won’t scrap Russia projects

Friday’s measures come after Western states accused Russian troops of killing civilians near Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, earlier this week. Moscow has denied the allegations, accusing Ukrainian troops of a staged provocation.

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