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Japan is planning to freeze assets of four additional Russian banks from next month in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, media reports said citing Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki.

The decision will impact the assets of VTB Bank, Sovcombank, Novikombank, and Otkritie. 

All the banks being targeted are close to the Russian government and the decision will take effect on 2 April 2022, the finance ministry said.  

Japan is also targeting the assets of Russian elites in the country along with some top officials of Belarus and two of its organisations that helped Moscow invade Ukraine. 

Additionally, the government is planning more stringent export sanctions against Belarus.

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Earlier this week, Japan announced restrictions on transactions with the central bank of Russia and the decision to freeze assets of three Russian banks in Japan that are VEB.RF, Promsvyazbank and Bank Rossiya. 

The country has also banned the issuance and transaction of new Russian sovereign debt in the primary and secondary markets.

Speaking to reporters, Suzuki said “Japan will firmly implement (the sanctions) together with other members of G7,” which includes the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Canada, and the US.

Japan’s latest decision comes after the European Union agreed to block seven Russian banks from SWIFT, a global network used by banks for cross-border transactions.