Japan joins US, others in excluding Russia from SWIFT system

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TOKYO: Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan would join the United States and other Western countries in restricting certain Russian banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday (Feb 27).

Kishida told reporters that Tokyo will impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and provide US$100 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Kyiv.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a unilateral attempt to disrupt the status quo that shakes the world order to its foundation,” Kishida said.

“We must remain unified and take decisive action.”

SWIFT is a secure messaging system that permits speedy cross-border payments, ensuring the smooth flow of international trade and transferring trillions of dollars each year in what has become the primary vehicle for funding international trade.

Kishida’s decision came after the United States and its allies took a similar action on Saturday, which was seen as a blow to Russian trade and making it more difficult for Russian enterprises to do business.

Rahm Emanuel, the United States’ ambassador to Japan, was quick to applaud Japan’s punishment measure.

“The United States looks forward to working closely with Japan in the coming days to put these measures in place, and to taking additional steps with the G7 and like-minded allies to impose consequences on President Putin for his reckless choice to conduct war in Ukraine,” he said in a written statement.

Source: CNA

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