The Japanese government announced on December 2, 2016 that it would impose new unilateral sanctions on North Korea, which undertook its fifth nuclear test in September. This announcement follows a fresh U.N. Security Council resolution, adopted on November 30, 2016, which reinforces sanctions against North Korea.
The new unilateral sanctions will expand the scope of the re-entry ban, the ban on all ships that have called at ports in North Korea, and will freeze the assets of more groups and individuals connected to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. The number of entities and individuals with their assets frozen will be increased from 43 entities and 40 individuals to 54 entities and 58 individuals, including enterprises of third-party countries that have transactions with North Korea, such as Chinese entities and individuals.
The Japanese government will make a cabinet decision on the new sanctions during the week commencing December 5, 2016, at the earliest.
The reinforcement of the sanctions on North Korea by Japanese government follows its prior reinforcement of such sanctions in February 2016, which was just after North Korea’s nuclear test in January 2016.
Sanctions are also being proposed by the United States and South Korea. Both Japan and South Korea already have comprehensive unilateral sanctions in place against North Korea. South Korea said in a statement that its expanded measures would blacklist senior North Korean officials and ban entry from the South by foreign missile and nuclear experts if their visits to North Korea were deemed to be a threat to South Korean national interests. Both countries, as well as members of the United Nations, will continue watching the actions of North Korea.