TOKYO: Japan will freeze the assets of three Belarusian banks, the government said Thursday, days after EU countries agreed to toughen sanctions on Minsk over its support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Japanese government also announced a $100 million humanitarian donation to Ukraine and its neighbouring nations to help Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Tokyo’s latest sanctions on Belarus, to be imposed from April 10, come as Japan acts with its G7 partners to pressure Moscow with a series of constraints on financial institutions and exports including semiconductors.

Japan had previously announced sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Earlier this week, the European Union gave the go-ahead to cut three Belarusian banks from the global SWIFT messaging system over the country’s involvement in the Kremlin’s attack.

The three banks that will be sanctioned in Japan’s asset freeze are Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt, and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the foreign ministry said.

The ministry said Japan would send $100 million to Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania through various international organisations, to respond to “urgent needs” such as health, shelter and child protection.

The announcement came as the US Congress passed its 2022 spending bill, including almost $14 billion in humanitarian and military aid to war-torn Ukraine.

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