On 24 September 2014, Japan imposed additional sanctions against Russia in response to the conflict in Ukraine. The extension restricts arms exports to Russia and bans five Russian banks: Sberbank, Vneshtorgank Bank (VTB), Vnesheconombank (VEB), Gazprombank and Russian Agricultural Bank, from issuing securities in Japan.
The new sanctions were imposed following a visit from an aide to Putin, Sergei Ivanov, to the group of contested islands known as Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kurils in Russia. There have been continuous territorial disputes over the land since the end of World War II, when the islands were seized by the former Soviet Union.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, stated that the visit “goes against Japan’s stance regarding the Northern Territories. It hurts Japanese people’s feelings and is extremely regrettable.” The Russian foreign ministry said, “We view this unfriendly move as fresh evidence of Japan's inability to pursue an independent foreign policy.”
Suga stated that the Japanese will “continue to be in close contact with other G7 nations” and maintain bilateral dialogue with Russia.