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Japan to expel 8 Russian diplomats and extend sanctions on Russia: Coal and vodka imports banned

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Japan will expel eight Russian diplomats and officials over the war in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikariko Ono said on Friday. Japan will also extend sanctions against Russia and ban imports of Russian coal and vodka and freeze the assets of major banks such as Alfa Bank and Sberbank, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told CNN.

Diplomats are employees of the Russian Embassy in Japan and officials in the office of the Japan Trade Representative.

“Russia’s denial of the mass killing of civilians, calling the incident fake news from Ukraine, is part of Russia’s propaganda and is categorically unacceptable,” said a spokesman for Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

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Earlier, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that Japan will gradually reduce imports of Russian coal in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Japan will extend sanctions against Russia by banning coal and vodka imports from Russia and freezing the assets of major banks such as Alfa Bank and Sberbank, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference on Friday.

The new sanctions will also reduce coal imports and new investment in Russia, in line with measures taken by other G7 countries, Kishida added.

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However, he did not provide accurate data for the phasing out of coal imports, but said Japan had used coal in various sectors, including electricity and cement.

He added that Tokyo “will have to consider those areas and each of their situations.”

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