8 Apr 2022 1:32 pm
The Japanese government has decided to expel eight Russian diplomats. Despite the expected symmetrical reaction from Moscow. Japanese television reported that the deaths of civilians in Ukraine had changed Tokyo’s attitude.
Japanese authorities have decided to expel eight Russian diplomats. This reports the Kiodo news agency, citing the country’s foreign ministry.
Russia will respond symmetrically to Tokyo’s decision, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Earlier, the television station Fuji TV reported on the possible expulsion of Russian diplomats, citing sources. According to the sources, the Japanese government was “cautious” about the idea, but changed its mind after reports of civilian deaths in Ukraine. On April 6, the Sankei newspaper quoted a Japanese government source as saying that Tokyo is unlikely to expel Russian diplomats because Moscow’s symmetrical response would hamper the work of consulates.
Tokyo plans to announce further sanctions against Russia on Friday. According to preliminary reports, these are restrictions on coal imports from the country.
Nations around the world began expelling Russian diplomats after images and videos emerged from the Ukrainian city of Bucha showing dozens of bodies in civilian clothes.
The Russian Defense Ministry called the footage a provocation and stated that the Russian military left the city on March 30. While the city was under the control of the Russian military, no residents were harmed, sources said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the Bucha materials were aimed at disrupting Russian-Ukrainian talks. Most participants in the UN Security Council session, including India and China, said an international investigation into the incident was needed.
Meanwhile, the federal government announced the expulsion of 40 diplomats, France 35, Italy 30, Latvia and Estonia 27. Spain, Denmark, Sweden and other countries have also announced similar measures. A total of around 400 Russian diplomats have been expelled since the beginning of the year, more than at any time since 2000.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry described the expulsion of the diplomats as an attempt to punish Russia politically. The ministry will retaliate.
Kremlin spokesman Peskov said the actions of Western countries “close the window on diplomacy.” He described the events in Bucha as a “well-staged tragic show” trying to slander the Russian army.” Peskov described the accusations against the Russian military as unfounded.
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