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TOKYO: Japan said Friday it will end imports of Russian coal and announced the expulsion of eight of Moscow’s diplomats over “war crimes” in Ukraine.

The move comes as Ukraine’s allies step up pressure on Moscow after allegations that Russian troops killed civilians in areas around Kyiv.

“Russian troops have killed civilians and have attacked nuclear facilities, gravely violating international humanitarian law. These are war crimes that can never be forgiven,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.

“We will ban imports of Russian coal,” Kishida said, pledging to find alternatives and asking Japanese citizens for their “understanding and cooperation.”

EU’s full ban on Russian coal to be pushed back to mid-August

He outlined additional measures, including new asset freezes and a ban on imports from Russia, including machinery and vodka, and said Tokyo would back efforts to investigate Moscow’s actions at the International Criminal Court.

Earlier, Japan’s foreign ministry announced the expulsion of eight Russian diplomats from the embassy and trade office.

The decision does not affect Russia’s ambassador Mikhail Yurievich Galuzin.

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