Tokyo announced earlier this week that it would phase out imports of Russian oil.
Japan and the European Union will step up cooperation to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday.
At a joint news conference in Tokyo, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Kishida said they would continue to condemn Russia and discuss how to maximize cooperation in areas including energy, whose supply has been affected due to the war and sanctions against Moscow.
“We welcome the increasingly strong stance that Japan is taking against Russia,” von der Leyen said at the start of the meeting.
Earlier this week, Japan announced it would follow its Group of Seven partners in halting the use of Russian oil, phasing out imports to minimize adverse effects on people’s livelihoods and businesses. Japan relies heavily on energy imports, including from Russia, which last year supplied about 4 percent of its crude oil and 9 percent of its gas.
Tokyo, a key US ally, has followed Western countries in implementing a series of punitive measures against Russia, including sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, Russia’s central bank and company executives with close ties to Russia. the Kremlin.
Major Japanese brands including Toyota, Honda, Nintendo and Sony have also suspended business in Russia, citing logistics or security issues.
Japan has taken a harder line against Russia than its regional peers, most of whom have refused to condemn Moscow for the conflict.