In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Tuesday that it will prohibit the shipping of precious metals, particularly gold, to Russia starting in April.
The restriction on Russia-bound precious metals by Japan underscores Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s commitment to imposing additional sanctions against the country which has invaded Ukraine, as he has pledged during the advanced nations’ Group of Seven (G7) conference last week.
The list of export limitations, which includes luxury cars, jewelry, cosmetics, and alcoholic beverages, will go into effect on April 5.
Japan’s move comes after the US and the UK took moves to restrict gold transactions with Russia.
On Friday, the United Kingdom changed its sanctions guidance to make it clear that British businesses cannot assist Moscow in selling its gold holdings, while the United States Treasury Department indicated a day earlier that gold-related transactions involving Russia might be sanctioned by US authorities.
As of April 5, gold shipments heading for Russia will require prior approval from the finance minister, according to government authorities.
The latest embargo follows previous restrictions on high-tech exports to Russia, such as semiconductors, censorship, and communication equipment.
Kishida has stated that Russia’s most-favored-nation trading designation will be revoked, potentially resulting in higher tariffs on its imports as well as a restriction on specific Russian imports.
Japan has also frozen the assets of over 100 Russian individuals and companies and is considering extending banking laws to crypto-currency exchanges headquartered in the country.
Tokyo has treaded a tight line when it comes to Russian energy supplies, emphasizing the strategic importance of oil and gas projects in eastern Russia in which the government and Japanese companies have stakes.
(Adapted from FinancialPost.com)