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TOKYO (AP) — Japan on Wednesday officially revoked Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status following its invasion of Ukraine, as Tokyo steps up sanctions amid revelations of widespread atrocities in the United States. Russian army against civilians.

Removing Russia’s trade status is Japan’s latest move against Moscow and was part of a list of sanctions measures announced last month by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, which also included a decision to expel eight diplomats and officials Russian traders.

The revocation of Russia’s trade status by the Japanese parliament, combined with other sanctions imposed collectively by other countries, is expected to intensify pressure on Russia, but the move could also provoke retaliation from Moscow. The revocation of trade status applies to customs duties on all Russian imports.

Wednesday’s parliamentary decision also included a review of the foreign exchange law to prevent the transfer of virtual currency held by those subject to the asset freeze.

Japan is playing a larger role in the international effort against Russia due to concerns about the impact of the invasion in East Asia, where the Chinese military has become increasingly assertive.

Japan also froze the assets of hundreds of Russian individuals and groups and banned all new investment and trade, including the export of goods that could be used for military purposes. Japan has also announced its intention to phase out imports of Russian coal.

On Wednesday, the eight deported Russian diplomats were seen leaving the Russian Embassy in Tokyo on a bus to Haneda International Airport, where they boarded a Russian government plane to return to their country .

Japan has already faced retaliation from Russia. Moscow recently announced the suspension of talks on a peace treaty with Tokyo that included negotiations over Russian-held islands that the former Soviet Union seized from Japan at the end of World War II.

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press



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