Govt enacts bills to strengthen economic sanctions on Russia

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Diet on Wednesday enacted two law revision bills aimed at strengthening the country’s sanctions on Russia over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, in step with other Group of Seven nations.

The House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, voted to approve the bill to scrap preferential tariff rates for imports of seafood, wood and other products from Russia and the bill to plug sanctions loopholes by tightening the regulations related to crypto assets. The bills cleared the House of Representative, the lower chamber, last week.

The law revisions will be enforced swiftly.

Under the revised law on temporary measures concerning customs, the tariff rate will rise, for example, to 6% from 4% for crabs imported from Russia and to 5% from 3.5% for Russian salmon and salmon roe. The amendment would lead to an increase of around ¥3.9 billion in Russia’s annual tariff costs.

The revised foreign exchange and foreign trade law will oblige crypto asset exchange service providers to confirm that individuals or groups to which crypto assets are transferred are not subject to Japan’s sanctions against Russia.

Japan hopes to ensure the effectiveness of its sanctions by imposing restrictions on businesses handling crypto assets as strict as those placed on banks.