Japan will phase out Russian coal imports as part of sanctions imposed by the Group of Seven industrialized nations in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the industry minister announced on Friday.
“We intend to stop importing in the end,” Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said at a routine press conference, adding that Japan will gradually cut the quantity of coal it imports from Russia.
In a news conference later today, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is scheduled to announce additional penalties against Russia, including details on the coal import limits.
“We will continue to try to lessen our reliance on Russia by promoting energy diversity, including renewables and nuclear power,” Hagiuda said, adding that Tokyo will look for alternate coal suppliers.
In Japan, Russian coal accounts for 13% of all coal used for power generation.
Resource-poor Following an international outrage sparked by photos of dead civilians on Ukrainian streets, Japan joined other Western nations in imposing restrictions on Russian energy.
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Tokyo’s decision comes a day after the G-7 foreign ministers sharply lambasted Moscow for its “atrocities” in Ukraine, agreeing to “maintain and escalate pressure on Russia by applying coordinated further restrictive measures” unless it ceases invading its neighbor.
In a joint statement, the leaders of the G-7 countries — the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States — also pledged to “accelerate” plans to end their energy dependence on Russia by phasing out and banning Russian coal imports as a form of punishment for Moscow.