Top Asian News 3:24 a.m. GMT

Japan adopts new sanctions on Russia, criticizes its deal to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus

TOKYO (AP) — Japan on Friday approved additional sanctions against Russia over its war on Ukraine, including freezing the assets of dozens of individuals and groups and banning exports to Russian military-related organizations. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters the Cabinet approval shows Japan is in step with the rest of the Group of Seven countries that agreed during their summit in Hiroshima last week to maintain and strengthen sanctions against Russia. He said Japan is committed to working with other G7 countries and the broader international community “to improve the situation” for Ukraine. Matsuno also sharply criticized the signing of a deal between Russia and Belarus on Thursday formalizing the deployment of Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons in its ally’s territory as a move that “further escalate tensions.” “As the world’s only country to have suffered nuclear attacks, Japan finds Russia’s threats of nuclear weapons and their use absolutely impermissible,” Matsuno said.