Japan will join the United States and other Western countries in blocking certain Russian banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday (Feb 27), following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tokyo will put sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and extend US$100 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Kyiv, Kishida told reporters.
This Russian invasion of Ukraine is a unilateral attempt to change the status quo and shakes the international order to its core,” Kishida said.
“We must remain united and take action resolutely.”
SWIFT is a secure messaging system that facilitates rapid cross-border payments, making international trade flow smoothly and transferring trillions of dollars each year in what has become the principal mechanism for financing international trade.
Kishida’s decision came after the US and its allies took a similar step on Saturday, a move seen to deal a blow to Russian trade and make it harder for Russian companies to do business.
US ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, was quick to welcome Japan’s sanction measure.
The United States looks forward to coordinating closely with Japan in the coming days to implement these measures and to take further steps together with the G7 and likeminded partners to impose costs on President Putin for his reckless decision to wage war in Ukraine, he said in a written statement.