The Japanese government on Tuesday approved the extension of unilateral sanctions against North Korea coinciding, two days after US President Donald Trump’s visit to Tokyo as part of his five-nation Asia tour. The sanctions freeze the assets of nine companies and 26 individuals for links with North Korea, including those based in China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Libya, government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference. The Japanese government took the decision after observing that the unilateral sanctions it had approved on August 25 and the resolution adopted by the United Nations in September after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test, have had little effect, Efe news quoted Suga as saying.
Describing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes as serious and imminent threats to the region, the spokesperson said Japan will not accept such behavior. The Kim Jong-un regime has continued its provocations, ignoring repeated warnings by the international community, Suga said. In addition to the nuclear test on September 3, North Korea also launched a missile that flew over northern Japan on September 15.
The extension of the sanctions, which already affect a total of 84 entities and 108 individuals, was mentioned by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a joint press conference with President Trump on Monday, in which the two presented a united front against North Korea and promised to apply “maximum pressure” on it to force it to abandon its weapons’ programmes.
Japan’s decision to adopt additional sanctions against North Korea coincides with Trump’s visit to the region to move together with the US in implementing unilateral measures aimed at cutting off funds that could be used for Pyongyang’s weapons programs, according to Suga. South Korea, where the US president arrived on Tuesday, also announced a day earlier the activation of new unilateral sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear and missile programmes.