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In a move that could strain relations, Japan is considering imposing sanctions on companies from India, China, the UAE, and Uzbekistan for allegedly helping Russia circumvent existing sanctions. This comes despite India being a close ally of Japan in both business and security matters.

The decision, announced by Japan’s Chief Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi, reflects a closer alignment with the US position on the Ukraine conflict. The sanctions would target companies from these four Quad alliance members (India, Japan, US, Australia) that have continued to do business with Russia. This follows a similar move by Japan where it imposed sanctions on activists of Hamas and Hezbollah during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite India’s more neutral stance.

Hayashi stated, “We announced a potential new sanctions package targeting companies from third countries at the G7 summit. We’re considering measures against companies from China, India, UAE, and Uzbekistan.”

The details of the sanctions package, currently under coordination, are expected to be released soon. Additionally, Kazakhstan, another country with significant Japanese investments, particularly in uranium mining, could also face sanctions.

The timing of this announcement is noteworthy. The decision was reportedly communicated to other G7 members during the summit in Italy, which was attended by both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida. This raises questions about potential friction in India-Japan relations and the future of cooperation within the Quad.