Russia may have gained Crimea from Ukraine but it sure is suffering the political effects of the annexing of the state. Sanctions have been imposed by a lot of countries, particularly the G7 or the organization of the world’s 7 most advanced economies, and one of the penalties is the denial of visa entries for 23 Russians by the Japanese government.
The move is part of additional sanctions imposed by the group for Russia’s failure to reduce tensions in Ukraine caused by the annexation of the city. While the United States and European countries immediately imposed strict bans on Russia, Japan was initially hesitant as it sought to better relations with the country. The two have remained at odds since the end of World War II, particularly due to a territorial dispute over the Northern Territories or Kuril Islands. Japan has now refused entry to these 23 Russian nationals, which include several government officials. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said to reporters at the Narita Airport on Tuesday, “We need to call on Russia to restrain itself and act responsibly.” Other members of the G7 have also banned Russian citizens from entering their countries and also froze assets of the Russian government in their countries.
Two weeks ago, Japan’s Foreign Ministry informed the public that Kishida has deferred his trip to Russia scheduled later this month. While the initial press release gave conflict in schedule as the reason, others have noted that the tensions in Crimea and pressure by the members of G7 to sanction the country have played a major part in the postponement of the trip.