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Ukraine: Russia denies its territory to the Japanese Prime Minister

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Following the sanctions taken by Japan against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, more than sixty Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, have been permanently banned from Russian territory. The complex relations between Russia and Japan seem seriously degraded.

Russia on Wednesday banned access to its territory to more than sixty Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Japan against Moscow for its offensive in Ukraine. “It has been decided to permanently ban” 63 Japanese citizens from entering Russia, said a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry. In this list, we also find ministers, deputies, businessmen, media managers and university professors.

In response to an “anti-Russian campaign”

The government of Fumio Kishida “has launched an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign, allows unacceptable rhetoric against the Russian Federation, including slander and direct threats”, says the Russian ministry. Moscow accuses Tokyo of taking “practical measures aimed at dismantling good neighborly relations, damaging the Russian economy and the international prestige of our country”.

Russia also says it is responding to “personal sanctions imposed by the Japanese government on Russian citizens, including senior state leaders”.

A degraded relationship between the two countries

Complex, Russian-Japanese relations have seriously deteriorated since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, with Japan participating in the Western sanctions taken against Moscow. Tokyo also decided in early April to stop importing Russian coal, while remaining involved in offshore oil and gas projects near Sakhalin, in the Russian Far East.

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And since April, for the first time since 2003, Japan again considers that four small islands north of the Archipelago, the Kuril Islands, are “illegally occupied” by Russia, a territorial dispute that prevents the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries since the end of the Second World War.

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