In a surprise move, Japan announced Friday it will expel eight Russian diplomats and trade representatives, a significant policy change that will likely prompt a similar move from Moscow.

The Foreign Ministry made the announcement ahead of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s news conference apparently to soften how the news will be received in Moscow. During the news conference Friday evening, Kishida did not speak at length about the expulsion of the diplomats, merely saying that Japan made the decision after “comprehensive judgment.”

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.