Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday that Japan is considering imposing sanctions on Belarus for its support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a move that would be in line with steps by the United States and other countries.
"Belarus is supporting Russian military actions, and we strongly condemn it. We intend to promptly reach a conclusion" regarding sanctions, Kishida said at a session of the House of Councilors' Budget Committee.
In the same session, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan is considering "measures against individuals, including high-ranking government officials" of Belarus.
Belarus has close ties with Russia and its territory has served as an entry point for Russian forces invading Ukraine. The United States and Britain have already decided to sanction Belarusian individuals and entities.
Kishida also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for putting Russia's nuclear forces on high alert, saying, "It is risky behavior that further destabilizes the situation."
He said Japan will swiftly move to freeze assets of Putin and consider its next move regarding sanctions by considering how the situation evolves.
"We will show that a reckless act of violence comes with a huge price," Kishida told reporters, condemning Russia's "aggression."
"The international community's relationship with Russia can no longer be the same as before," he said.
Kishida condemned Russian's invasion of Ukraine as a violation of international law that undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Eastern European nation.
The Japanese government will extend emergency humanitarian assistance worth $100 million to Ukraine, he added.