The Russian Foreign Ministry has just expelled 8 Japanese diplomats from the country in response to Japan’s expulsions of 8 Russian diplomats earlier this month.
In a public statement, the Foreign Ministry had this to say:
“With the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, the goals and objectives of which were clearly outlined and substantiated in detail in the statement of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, official Tokyo took an openly hostile anti-Russian course. Actively involved in the rabid campaign directed by the West to spread slander against our country, the administration of F. Kishida took steps unprecedented for modern Russian-Japanese relations, destroying the positive of mutually beneficial cooperation accumulated over many years. Disregarding common sense, Japan openly took the position of full support for neo-Nazi formations operating on the territory of Ukraine, providing political, economic and military assistance to the regime in Kyiv. This is accompanied by the intensification of Russophobic hysteria in Japanese society, the creation, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, of serious obstacles to the normal functioning of Russian foreign missions. The apotheosis of this line was the expulsion of eight Russian diplomats from Japan.
In connection with the above, guided by the principle of reciprocity, the Russian side demanded that eight Japanese diplomatic workers leave our country before May 10.
The full responsibility for such a development of events rests solely with the government of Japan, which has made a choice in favor of abandoning friendly, constructive relations with Russia.”
This is also to the backdrop of increasing tensions between the two countries over what Japan is calling the continued illegal occupation of the Kuril Islands, coupled with increased Chinese and Russian naval cooperation in the region.