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TOKYO: Japan will impose sanctions on Russia and individuals linked to eastern Ukrainian regions controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists, the country's prime minister said Wednesday, after Moscow ordered troops into the disputed territory.

The measures follow decisions by the United States, Britain and the European Union to penalize Russian entities in the wake of President Vladimir Putin's decision to send soldiers into Donetsk and Lugansk.

Tokyo's sanctions include a ban on issuing visas to individuals linked to the "so-called two republics" as well as freezing their assets and barring trade with the regions.

Australia sanctions top Russian officials for 'unprovoked' Ukraine invasion

They also ban the issuing and trade of Russian government bonds in Japan.

"We continue to monitor with grave concern," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.

"From the viewpoint of responding to the issue in cooperation with the international community, Japan decided to impose sanctions," he said.

Japan "strongly condemns" Russia's actions, he added, "that infringe on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, violating international law," adding that further sanctions were possible "if the situation worsens."

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