Japan, U.S. foreign ministers condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks to the press at the Foreign Ministry after talks with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi held a 25-minute telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday morning, during which they condemned Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine as a serious violation of international law.

The two ministers reaffirmed the policy of close cooperation between Japan and the United States, and among the Group of Seven advanced nations.

“We must never accept unilateral changes in the status quo by force,” Hayashi said after the meeting. “We need to deal with Russia’s actions appropriately so that it doesn’t learn the wrong lessons.”

The foreign ministers shared an understanding that “the impact of aggression by Russian forces will not be limited to Europe,” and agreed that strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance was essential.

The G7 is preparing to hold an emergency online meeting of foreign ministers on Sunday night, during which the Ukraine situation and further measures, including additional sanctions against Russia, will be up for discussion.

The U.S. has announced sanctions against Belarus for supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Japanese government is considering following suit.

The U.S. sanctions are targeting Belarusian state-owned banks and other entities.