Tokyo has opposed the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the beginning. In line with the commitments of the G7 countries at their summit in Hiroshima at the end of last week, Japan announced on Friday a new round of sanctions against Russia. They concern the freezing of assets of 17 Russian nationals and 78 organizations, as well as the ban on exporting goods and services to 80 Russian entities, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.

The export bans cover products destined for Russian companies linked to the country's military-industrial complex, as well as construction and engineering services. These measures come as other G7 members (United States, European Union, United Kingdom) have just intensified their own sanctions against Russia, 15 months after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russian nuclear threat 'can never be tolerated'

Japan "condemns" Russia's intention to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and calls on both countries to "stop such actions that would escalate tensions," Matsuno said.

Moscow has begun transferring nuclear warheads to Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, the president of the authoritarian state neighboring the EU and Ukraine, a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Thursday. The Russian nuclear threat, not to mention the use of such weapons, "can never be tolerated," he said.

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