Japan, Canada Impose Sanctions on Russia over Crimea
Japan imposed on Tuesday a set of sanctions against Russia after Moscow recognized Crimea as a sovereign state.
Talks with Russia to simplify visa procedures will be suspended, and negotiations in three areas, including an investment pact, will come to a halt, Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida was quoted as saying by the website of NHK World, the international broadcasting service of the country.
Notwithstanding, he confirmed a forum on Japanese investment in Russia will be held as scheduled in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Kishida described Sunday's referendum on independence in Crimea as a violation of Ukraine's constitution and Japan cannot accept its results.
He called Russia's move to recognize the peninsula's claim to sovereignty an infringement to Ukraine's unity and territorial integrity. Japan's Foreign Minister added that his country "cannot overlook attempts, backed by force, to change the status quo".
Earlier, Canada also announced sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials as a result of "the illegal, dangerous and unilateral actions of the Putin regime in Crimea over the weekend," Prime Minister Stephen Harper was reported as saying by newspaper The Toronto Sun.
Canada's restrictions will target 10 people including Crimea's Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, who are also in a Western sanctions' blacklist.
Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper is planning to visit Ukraine on March 22 and to meet his counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk.