Japan joins push to cut Russia from SWIFT banking system

Tokyo plans to freeze assets of Vladimir Putin, other Russian government officials, says Japanese premier.

Japan joins push to cut Russia from SWIFT banking system

Japan will block certain Russian banks from the SWIFT international banking system and freeze assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other government officials, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Sunday. 

Japan joins the US, EU, UK, Canada and other Western nations that have taken the step after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.

“Japan will join efforts by the US and the EU in blocking access by some Russian banks to the SWIFT international payment system,” Kishida told reporters, according to a report by Kyodo News.

“On top of the sanctions on Russia which invaded Ukraine, Japan plans to freeze assets held by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian government officials,” he added.

Tokyo’s move came as the Russian military intervention in Ukraine entered its fourth day on Sunday.

Western countries led by the US have imposed several sanctions on Russia for attacking Ukraine, including blocking access to the SWIFT system.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, is a global messaging system that connects thousands of financial institutions. It is used to send and receive millions of financial messages and money transfer orders.