Japan Ready to Freeze Russian Assets

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday he would freeze the assets of Russian financial conglomerates, including oligarchs, in addition to sanctions against Russia.

The United States has launched a joint task force with European countries to jointly pursue assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs, including their cruise ships, jet planes, cars and luxury homes.

Kishida said he took a number of measures domestically to cut ties to seven Russian banks from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) or financial networks that provide high-value cross-border transfers to members in all parts of the world.

The move cuts Russia off from most international financial transactions, including profits from its oil and gas production which together account for more than 40% of Russia’s revenue.

At the same time Kishida also announced plans to accept more exchange program students from abroad before the new school year begins in April, increasing the daily limit for overseas arrivals, from 5,000 currently to 7,000. [em/jm]