Japan to halt economic cooperation with Russia

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan will suspend economic cooperation with Russia based on a bilateral agreement in response to its invasion of Ukraine, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Friday.

“We’ll put [the cooperation] on hold for the time being,” Matsuno told a Cabinet Committee meeting at the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet.

“We’ll handle the matter based on international discussions with energy supply stability and humanitarian considerations in mind,” he added.

The two countries agreed on an eight-point plan on economic and civilian cooperation. It was proposed by then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Russian President Vladimir Putin at their meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi in May 2016.

The plan includes projects for cooperation to promote energy development and improve Russia’s medical levels.

“Considering the current Ukraine situation, we are not in a situation where we can proceed with new economic cooperation with Russia,” Matsuno told a press conference Friday.

On existing private-sector projects, including oil and gas development programs on the Russian Far East island of Sakhalin, Matsuno said that possible revisions will be considered as needed.