I read on https://www.foxnews.com/world/japan-us-european-allies-blocking-russian-banks-swift (mirror):

Japan has decided to join the United States and European allies in removing selected Russian banks from the SWIFT international financial messaging system, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday

Does the fact that Japan have decided to join the US and European countries following the ongoing 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine in removing selected Russian banks from SWIFT have any practical effect? I.e., what does the decision from Japan add?

  • Russia has diversified it's set of foreign currencies it holds to yen and yuan. It holds assets in yen and probably makes business in these markets. That's why Japan joining the financial sanctions is hiring Russia financially there. Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 22:22
  • @Trilarion thanks, that makes sense, but does that also pertain to Swift? Commented Feb 28, 2022 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


The move is overwhelmingly a political show of solidarity, I think.

Japan has been criticized in 2014 for acting slowly to sanction Russia. Besides, in the meantime, Russia and China have conducted joint naval exercises around Japan's waters. And Japan has territorial disputes with both large countries. So, Japan is pretty worried about being less supported if things turn sour militarily in the Pacific, if it doesn't show it is in lockstep with the US.

However, Russia did have 5.7% of its central bank's reserves in yen, so Japan's move to join sanctions was not merely symbolic.

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