The Foreign Ministry of Russia announced on Wednesday, the entry ban of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and 63 high-ranking officials, including Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, for an indefinite period in a fresh round of sanctions against Japan.
The sanctions were seen as retaliation for the series of Japanese government measures against Russia since it started its attack on Ukraine.
The Russian ministry accused Tokyo of launching an “unprecedented anti-Russian campaign with unacceptable rhetoric” and hurting its “economy and international prestige.”
Japanese officials believed the ban would have no impact on the government as it has no plans to send a senior figure to Russia.
Russia has already barred several Western leaders from entering the country, including U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in retaliation against sanctions imposed by their nations.
Kishida has recently used the term “war crime” in describing Russia’s aggression on Ukraine after news of civilian massacres in cities near Kyiv came out early last month.
“The killings of innocent civilians are war crimes. I’ve been in deep shock. The aggression and war crimes should never be tolerated,” Kishida said.
Japan has also taken a tougher stance on a territorial dispute over four isles off Hokkaido.
The row over the isles, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia, has prevented the two countries from formally signing a post-World War II peace treaty.
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