Tokyo announced earlier this week that it would phase out imports of Russian oil.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday that Japan and the European Union will strengthen cooperation to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine.
At a joint news conference in Tokyo, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Kishida said they would continue to condemn Russia and discuss how Areas of maximum cooperation, war and sanctions against Moscow due to pressure on energy supplies.
“We welcome Japan’s increasingly tough stance toward Russia,” von der Leyen said at the start of the meeting.
Earlier this week, Japan announced it would follow its G7 partners in ending the use of Russian oil and phasing out imports to minimize the adverse impact on people’s livelihoods and businesses. Japan relies heavily on energy imports, including from Russia, which supplied about 4 percent of its crude oil and 9 percent of its natural gas last year.
A key U.S. ally, Tokyo has followed the West in a series of punitive measures against Russia, including sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, Russia’s central bank and company executives close to the Kremlin.
Top Japanese brands include Toyota, Honda, Nintendo and Sony also suspend operations in Russiaciting logistical or safety concerns.
Japan has taken a tougher line against Russia than its regional peers, most of which Refused to condemn Moscow over conflict.