Japanese companies will be asked to refuse Russia's demand that energy payments be made in roubles, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Tuesday. Russia demanded last week that "unfriendly" countries must pay in roubles, not euros, for its gas in the wake of the United States and European allies teaming up on a series of sanctions aimed at Russia. Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki last week told a parliamentary session the government did not understand Moscow's intentions or "how they would do this". Japan has imposed a raft of punitive measures on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including sanctions targeting the deputy chiefs of staff for President Vladimir Putin's administration, the head of the Chechen Republic, and executives of companies with close ties to the Kremlin. Tokyo has also targeted Russia's central bank, restricted the country's access to the SWIFT international payments system, revoked Russia's most-favoured-nation trade status, and banned exports of Russia-bound oil refinery equipment.
Japan designated Tuesday nearly 300 items and technologies as subject to an export ban on Russia and Belarus from later this week to prevent them from boosting their military capabilities, as part of Tokyo's sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. The embargo on exports of 266 products, such as semiconductors, communication equipment and cutting-edge materials, and 26 technologies, including design programs for chip-making machines, will take effect on Friday, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. In addition, exports of oil-refining equipment and related technologies to Russia, one of the world's major oil producers, will be prohibited, the ministry said. All exports to 49 military-related Russian entities and two Belarusian organizations, including government agencies and manufacturers of aircraft and ships, will be strictly forbidden. The move came as Japan and other Western nations, including members of the Group of Seven major developed countries, have been ramping up economic sanctions on Russia as the situation in Ukraine shows no sign of improving, with Moscow stepping up its attacks on the former Soviet republic since Feb. 24.
Japan will freeze the assets of 25 more Russians and prohibit exports to 81 Russian organisations in response to Moscow's war in Ukraine, the country's foreign ministry said on Friday. The move comes after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday Japan will take steps to revoke Russia's "most favoured nation" trade status and prevent domestic cryptocurrency exchanges from carrying out transactions with sanctioned entities. Tokyo has unveiled a raft of punitive measures against Russia in recent weeks, including sanctions focusing on the deputy chiefs of staff for President Vladimir Putin's administration, the head of the Chechen Republic, and executives of companies with close ties to the Kremlin. The East Asian country has also targeted Russia's central bank, restricted the country's access to the SWIFT international payments system, and banned exports of Russia-bound oil refinery equipment. Leading Japanese firms including Toyota, Honda, Nintendo and Sony have also halted exports to Russia, citing concerns about logistics, supply chains or safety.
Japan posted a trade surplus of ¥813.4 billion ($7.29 billion) in February, the largest in nearly seven years, as exports to China showed solid growth, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday. Sharp gains in shipments of car parts to China and electronics parts to Hong Kong helped lift overall exports, which jumped 11.3 percent from a year earlier to ¥6.35 trillion -- the third straight month of increase. Imports climbed 1.2 percent year on year to ¥5.53 trillion as the value of crude oil imports increased, the ministry said in a preliminary report. The month's trade surplus is the biggest since March 2010 when the country posted a ¥931.9 billion figure. Japan logged its first trade surplus with China since February 2012, with the balance standing at ¥111.77 billion.
Toyota, Mazda and Subaru doubled vehicle exports in September from a year earlier as the negative impact from a global parts shortage eased and the yen fell to a 24-year low against the dollar, industry data showed Friday. Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, meanwhile, logged nearly 50% increases in shipments from Japan. This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software. Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites. If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see this support page.