By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) – Maintaining its stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, Japan on Friday decided to continue its sanctions against Moscow, which was also stripped Moscow of "most-favored-nation" trade status last year.
Such a status will remain in effect for another year beyond the end of March, the Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.
Japan had last April stripped Russia of “benefits such as low tariffs and few trade barriers as punitive economic sanctions” for a year. The steps by Tokyo were taken after Moscow launched the war on Kyiv in February last year.
Besides, Japan has imposed sanctions on Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin, as well as some of businesses.
The country’s Finance Ministry said, “around 10% of imports from Russia, which totaled 1.97 trillion yen ($15 billion) in 2022, will remain subject to the tariff increase.”
Japan, an energy-deficient nation, has not touched imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as palladium.
“LNG and other mineral fuels accounted for 68.5% of imports in value terms,” it said.
Palladium is used to purify exhaust gas from vehicles.
To ensure a stable supply of LNG, the Japanese cabinet last October approved amendments to fuel law to avoid an energy crunch.
Japan first imported LNG over 50 years ago and is currently the world’s largest buyer of the fuel, which it uses for electricity generation and supplies to cities. Its prices have been surging in view of the Russia-Ukraine war.