Japan condemns Russia recognising breakaway regions in Ukraine

Russia's actions in Ukraine are unacceptable and in violation of international law, said Japan PM Fumio Kishida. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday (Feb 22) that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are unacceptable and in violation of international law, after Russia's recognition of two breakaway regions in Ukraine as independent and its decree to build military bases there.

He added that, should Russia invade Ukraine, Japan will join with allies in the international community and prepare for a strong response, including sanctions.

A top Japanese government spokesman earlier similarly condemned the Russian move.

"These actions violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, violate international law and are utterly unacceptable," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

He said Japan is monitoring the development with serious concern and will take actions depending on the actual situation, including deploying sanctions.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Tuesday also condemned Russia’s recognition of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, and said Tokyo intended to coordinate with other countries on sanctions against Moscow.  

“Our country will keep a close eye on the situation with grave concern, and coordinate with the G-7 (group of seven advanced economies) and international community on stern responses including sanctions,” Mr Hayashi told a news conference.

An earlier Japanese media report said Japan will likely join US-led sanctions on Russia.

These include a ban on chip and other key technology exports, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Although Japan is no longer a major exporter of semiconductors, with only a 10 per cent share of the global chip market, it is a key manufacturer of specialised electronic components, such as automotive chips and image sensors, and dominates in other industrial fields, such as high tech manufacturing equipment.

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