Japan imposes trade restrictions against firms in China accused of supporting war in Ukraine

Japan has imposed trade restrictions against firms in China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan over their alleged support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported.

The sanctions unveiled by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday mark the first time Tokyo has targeted companies based in China over their alleged connection to the war.

Under the measures, Japanese firms are barred from exporting goods to the sanctioned firms, which include Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Links Ltd and Shenzhen-based Yilufa Electronics Limited, according to Al Jazeera report.

The latest decision comes after Japan and South Korea in May imposed sanctions targeting firms and people for providing North Korean weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine.

Japan has adopted a tougher stance against Moscow under the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida-led government.

During the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in 2023, Kishida offered “unwavering solidarity” to Ukraine while condemning governments that used force to change the status quo.

Last week, the US announced sanctions targeting over 300 individuals and companies accused of supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine, including entities in China, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey, Al Jazeera reported.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the measures would diminish “Russia’s ability to benefit from access to foreign technology, equipment, software, and IT services.”

Earlier in April, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after concluding his three-day visit to China said he used his meeting to raise the Joe Biden administration’s concerns about Beijing’s support for Russia’s defence industrial base, reported CNN.

Blinken emphasized that the US will take further action on top of existing sanctions on more than 100 Chinese entities and individuals if such support continues.

“What we said to China is this – we’re going to take actions we already have, and if it doesn’t stop, we’re going to have to take more action, and you can anticipate as well, that other countries will (too),” Blinken said in an interview with CNN, adding that he raised the issue to both China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping.

“We’re looking to them to act, and … if they don’t, we will,” he said.According to CNN, Blinken made the comments in an interview with CNN on Friday while concluding his visit to China, where the top American diplomat spent hours meeting with top Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping as the two countries navigated a raft of contentious issues, from US tech controls to Beijing’s support for Moscow.

Additionally, he emphasised that Chinese counterparts had not acknowledged the role of these goods in the war in Ukraine.

Blinken said that they characterised this as trade with Russia and said Moscow’s success didn’t depend on China. 

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2024/6/21/japan-sanctions-china-based-firms-accused-of-supporting-war-in-ukraine