As the Japanese Yen crumbles, Tokyo announces new sanctions on Russia
The Japanese Ministry of Economy bans exports of goods "related to chemical weapons" to Russia as ties between the two countries worsen.
The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced on Monday imposing new sanctions on Russia, targeting 20 Russian companies and one individual.
According to the Ministry, a ban on exports of goods related to chemical weapons was introduced, targeting Russian Mashpriborintorg, Inteko, NGO Etalon, JCS Energiya, Tambov plant October among others.
The Japanese Ministry stated that effective 26th of September, "our country introduces a ban on exports and other activities in relation to 21 organizations," saying that it is, "a contribution to international efforts in connection with the situation in Ukraine and taking into account the measures taken by leading countries," raising the total number of sanctioned Russian companies and organizations since the start of the Ukrainian war to 287.
According to Kishida, Japan's sanctions include blocking the issuing of Russian bonds in Japan, freezing the assets of specific Russian people, and limiting travel to Japan.
However, the actions of Japan against Russia were not left unanswered, as the Russian Foreign Ministry announced back in May sanctions against 63 Japanese citizens, including Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, banning them from entering Russia due to the Western-backed anti-Russian campaign launched by Tokyo.
Russia responds to unfriendly nations
As the hysteric sanctions on Russia started taking place, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree back in May authorizing the use of new special tit-for-tat economic measures in response to hostile activities by certain foreign nations and international organizations.
The document forbids fulfilling obligations and finalizing deals with foreign persons and legal organizations under retaliatory restrictive measures, as well as exporting raw materials and goods from Russia for the benefit of these individuals.
According to the decree, these measures are taken to protect Russia’s national interests "due to unfriendly actions which contradict international law by the United States of America and foreign states and international organizations that joined them directed at illegitimately depriving the Russian Federation, the citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities of property right and restricting their property right."
Japan and Russian Gas dilemma
Upon Russian President Vladimir Putin ratifying the new decree in the economic-trade relations between Russia and unfriendly foreign nations, Japan announced in August plans to keep its firms’ shares in the Russia-led Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, notwithstanding the new Russian protocol, "for our country, which is 90% dependent on Middle Eastern oil, Sakhalin-1 is an important source of supplies outside the Middle East. There are no changes in our position on maintaining the shares of our companies," the Japanese Minister of Economy stated.
It's noteworthy that the new Japan sanctions come amidst a months-long Yen freefall, where the Japanese central bank (Nichigin) conducted its first currency intervention on the 22nd of September, to try and pull the staggering yen from the hot water it has plunged into for months, selling the US dollar and buying the yen from the Japanese market.
The Bank of Japan's intervention marks its first since June 1998, as the yen's value continues dwindling, reaching its lowest rate since 1998.