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Japan to ban exports of luxury cars and goods to Russia from April 5

Japan to ban exports of luxury cars and goods to Russia from April 5

Plastic letters arranged to read ‘Sanctions’ are placed in front of the colors of the Russian flag in this illustration taken February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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TOKYO, March 29 (Reuters) – Japan will ban the export of high-end cars and other luxury goods to Russia in its latest response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday. .

The partial ban on automotive items destined for Russia, which account for more than half of Japan’s exports to Russia, came after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged to impose more sanctions on Russia during a Group of Seven summit last week.

The new items on the export control list, which will come into effect on April 5, cover 19 categories, from cars worth more than 6 million yen ($48,630) to jewelry, watches, cosmetics, spirits and art at over 40,000 yen, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in a statement.

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Exports to Russia of boat engines worth more than 1.3 million yen, motorcycles worth more than 600,000 yen and grand pianos worth more than 200,000 yen will also be banned, the ministry said.

Japan’s ban on luxury goods exports to Russia, first announced by Kishida on March 16, followed moves by the United States and European countries to impose sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Russia says it is carrying out “a special military operation” in its southern neighbor. Read more

“In cooperation with the United States and the EU, Japan joins the sanction against Russian oligarchs and the ruling class,” a ministry official said at a press briefing.


The inclusion of luxury cars on the list ‘could have some impact’ on Japanese exports, but not considerable, the official said, adding that Japanese cars sold to Russia are mostly lower-selling models 6 million yen.

In 2021, Japan sold 358 billion yen worth of automobiles to Russia, making it Japan’s top export product to Russia, equivalent to 41.5% of Japan’s exports to the country, according to government trade data.

Auto parts exports were worth 100 billion yen, or 11.6 percent of total exports to Russia, last year. Shipments of car chassis and bodies worth more than 2 million yen to Russia will also be banned, the ministry said.

Japan has already banned high-tech exports to Russia such as semiconductors, censors and communications equipment.

The new items will bring the total to around 310 items on the Russian export blacklist, the ministry official said.

Kishida also announced plans to revoke Russia’s most favored nation trade status, which could lead to higher tariffs on its imports, as well as a ban on some imports from Russia. Read more

Japan has also frozen the assets of more than 100 Russian individuals and organizations, as it plans to extend financial regulation to Japan-based cryptocurrency exchanges. Read more

Japan, however, has walked a fine line regarding its energy supplies from Russia, underscoring the strategic importance of oil and gas projects in eastern Russia in which the Japanese government and companies have stakes. Read more

($1 = 123.3800 yen)

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Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Robert Birsel

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