NHK reported that the Kishida cabinet formally endorsed today the latest sanctions on Russia, including the immobilization of financial assets held by President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, Defense Minister Shoigu and three other government officials, as well as those held by Russia’s central bank and three commercial banks. The sanctions also include a ban on exports of semiconductors and other materials that can be used for weapons. Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno told the press that the punitive measures took effect immediately, adding that Japan is committed to preventing Russia’s central bank from evading international sanctions. The government spokesperson disclosed that the yen-denominated portion of Moscow’s foreign currency reserves amounted to about 3.8 trillion yen ($33 billion) as of June 2021.
In a related development, NHK noted that Finance Minister Suzuki held talks with Treasury Secretary Yellen remotely earlier today and confirmed close coordination to punish Russia on the financial front. “We agreed to strengthen bilateral coordination to defend the foundation of the international order and demonstrate that Moscow will have to pay a high price for its reckless behavior,” the Japanese minister said to the press afterward, adding that he explained to the U.S. official the financial sanctions that Japan has already implemented.