Japan Bans More Products from Russia, But Not Seafood or Energy

The government in Tokyo has unveiled a new package of sanctions against Russia in connection with Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

The latest restrictions, however, exclude imports crucial for the Japanese economy, including seafood and energy.

Further, Japan has revoked Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status.

The expanded list includes a ban on the import of Russian beer and vodka; engine parts for ships, aircraft, cars and motorcycles; veneer; and certain types of wood and wood chips.

There is still no Japanese ban on Russian fish and seafood, which make up 8.9% of the country’s imports. Tokyo also avoided targeting supplies of Russian crude oil and natural gas, on which the country is heavily dependent.

US’s tightening sanctions noose on Japan provoked Pearl Harbor, when then ultimately led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet Japan now is following US in slapping sanctions on Russia. But Japan’s sanctions exempt 3 items it cannot do without: Russian LNG, oil and palladium rare metal.

In 2021, about 2.3 percent of Russia’s total exports went to Japan.