On March 15, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced the details of 57 high-tech products that will be subject to the export ban on Russia to be imposed due to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Semiconductor-related items subject to the export ban include flash memory chips that have a memory capacity of over 16 megabits in a single package. The ban will take effect on March 18.
The 57 products include semiconductors, computers, communication equipment, and sensors. The government laid out the details, such as product types and performance.
Banned items include static RAM (random-access memory) chips with a memory capacity of over 1 megabit; computers and communication equipment that are equipped with certain heat-resistant capabilities; and sensors capable of detecting undersea objects and measuring underground topography. Diving equipment, parachutes, gas turbine engines are also banned.
The ban also covers software and technological expertise used for the design and manufacturing of these products.
The government has already tightened its export screening of about 200 products, including machine tools and carbon fiber, which can be easily used for military purposes. The shipments of these products will be also banned from March 18. The move is aimed at dealing a serious blow to Russia’s military, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries in coordination with the United States and Europe. Japan will also take similar action against Belarus, which is aiding Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
Shipments of automobiles and electronic appliances that have built-in semiconductors are excluded from the export embargo. Depending on the situation, shipments of items for humanitarian and cybersecurity purposes could be permitted. The government may also approve the shipment of products to local subsidiaries of Japanese, U.S., and European firms on a case-by-case basis as an exception.
The government has already approved banning exports of oil refinery equipment, with an eye to impair Russia’s energy sector, which is seen as a source of money for the country. This will also go into effect from March 18. All shipments to about 50 organizations, including Russian and Belarus defense ministries and MiG, a Russian aircraft producer, will be banned regardless of the product type.
The joint statement issued by the G7 members included cutting access to luxury items by the elite and the wealthy who are close to President Putin. There is the possibility these products will be subject to the export embargo in the future. At present, Japan bans the export of all products to North Korea.