Japan will join efforts by the United States and the European Union in blocking access by some Russian banks to the international payment system SWIFT, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Feb. 27, as Russia continued with its military attack on Ukraine.
On top of the sanctions already announced on Russia, Japan will freeze assets held by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian government officials, Kishida said.
“We will show that a reckless act of violence comes with a huge price,” Kishida told reporters, condemning Russia’s “aggression.”
“The international community’s relationship with Russia can no longer be the same as before,” he said.
The expanding list of sanctions against Russia indicates Japan is keeping pace with the West despite its desire to seek progress in resolving a territorial dispute that has long loomed over Tokyo-Moscow relations.
Kishida condemned the invasion as a violation of international law that undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Eastern European nation.
Hours before Kishida’s announcement, Britain, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy and the United States said selected Russian banks will be removed from SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.
The system connects more than 11,000 banks, financial institutions and companies in over 200 countries and territories. (Kyodo)