Moscow, Apr 28 (EFE).- The Japanese government on Thursday lodged a protest to Moscow over the expulsion of eight of its diplomats from Russia, a retaliatory measure for a similar decision by Tokyo following the invasion of Ukraine.
“We absolutely cannot accept Russia issuing the notice,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference, arguing that Moscow was fully responsible for the deterioration of bilateral relations.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that it had asked eight Japanese diplomats to leave the country by May 10, under the principle of reciprocity.
The official statement by Moscow held the Japanese government responsible development of events, claiming that Tokyo chose to renounce constructive and friendly relations with Russia.
On Apr.8, the Japanese government announced the expulsion of eight Russian diplomats from its territory for war crimes allegedly committed by Russian troops against civilians in Ukraine.
Japanese Ambassador Toyohisa Kozuki was not among the eight diplomats asked to leave Russia, according to sources from the Japanese government, just as diplomats previously expelled from Japan did not include the Russian Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin.
Tokyo thus followed in the footsteps of European countries and the United States, which in previous days announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats after images came out of a massacre attributed to the invading troops in the city of Bucha, north of Kyiv.
Japan has also joined G7 countries in implementing successive rounds of sanctions on the Kremlin, causing a deterioration in relations that Tokyo.
In previous years, Tokyo had endeavored to amend ties with Moscow, seeking progress in their territorial disputes dating back to the end of the Second World War. EFE