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Ukraine war

Japan to ban exports of oil refining equipment to Russia

32 Russians, Belarusians put on asset freeze list as Tokyo expands sanctions

The Achinsk refinery in Russia's Krasnoyarsk Region. Japan will ban exports of oil refining equipment to Russia, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno says.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan will further sanction Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine, freezing assets held by government officials and other entities, the top government spokesman said Tuesday.

As Russia escalates its attacks in Ukraine with Belarus "clearly involved," Japan will ban exports of oil refining equipment to Russia and dual-use products to Belarus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.

According to the Japanese government, 32 Russian and Belarusian individuals such as government officials and business magnates, along with 12 entities including military-related companies, were added to the list of those facing asset freezes in Japan.

Tokyo also designated the Belarusian Defense Ministry and a Minsk-based military semiconductor maker as subject to sanctions, banning the receipt of payments from them by Japanese exporters from March 15.

"Our nation will continue to collaborate with the Group of Seven (nations) and the international community toward an improvement in the situation," Matsuno said.

Japan has joined Western countries that have imposed a series of economic sanctions on Russia and Belarus, including asset freezes on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

They have also excluded seven of Russia's banks from the SWIFT global payments network to disrupt its trade and money transfers.

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