Japan announces the expulsion of 8 Russian diplomats

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government said it was expelling eight Russian diplomats following their country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hikariko Ono announced the decision on Friday. Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori briefed Russian Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin, she said.

European countries expelled dozens of Russian diplomats as relations soured over Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

Europe and the United States have also tightened sanctions against Russia, including restrictions on coal imports, following revelations of horrific atrocities against civilians in Ukrainian cities.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce additional sanctions against Russia under a Group of Seven advanced industrialized countries agreement.

Measures contained in a statement by G-7 leaders include phasing out or banning imports of Russian coal and oil. Japanese Commerce Minister Koichi Hagiuda said Japan plans to gradually reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

Japan has already imposed a series of sanctions, including freezing the assets of senior Russian officials such as President Vladimir Putin, restricting exports to Russia, including sensitive goods transferable for military use, and closing banks. keys to an international messaging system.

Japan is trying to play a bigger role in the international effort against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine due to Tokyo’s concerns about its impact on East Asia, where China has carried out military actions more and more affirmed.

Japan has already faced retaliation from Russia. Moscow recently announced the suspension of talks on a peace treaty with Tokyo that includes negotiations over Russian-held islands that the Soviet Union seized from Japan at the end of World War II.