Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has condemned Russia’s entry ban on Japanese officials, including himself, as “completely unacceptable."
The prime minister made the comment during a state visit to Rome on Wednesday.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear violation of international law and the killing of a large number of innocent civilians is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime,” Kishida told reporters.
“It is the Russian side that has resorted to military means and caused this situation. The Russian side is entirely responsible for the breakdown of Japan-Russia relations."
Russia had "indefinitely" banned 63 Japanese citizens, including Kishida, from entering the country, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
Members of Kishida's cabinet, including Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki have also been barred from entry, as well as members of the parliament and the military, RIA reported.
Some context: Since March, Japan has introduced a series of sanctions against Russia, including freezing the assets of President Vladimir Putin and his family members in response to the invasion.