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Japan Imposes New Sanctions On Syria

Japan on Friday decided to impose new sanctions on Syria to step up pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to halt its violent crackdowns on anti-government forces.

The sanctions include an asset freeze on more top members of the Assad administration, and banning Syrian chartered planes from landing in Japan.

The Foreign Ministry said Japan was not expecting any chartered flights from Syria, but it adopted the ban to keep in line with the EU nations and other countries. Japan and Syria are not linked by regular flights.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told reporters in Tokyo that he hoped the government's latest decision would contribute to the international efforts to stop the violence in Syria, Japanese media reports said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference that at least 10,000 people have died in the crackdowns by security forces in that Middle East country since a popular uprising against the Assad regime began in March 2011.

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