Japan freezes assets related to Iran
TOKYO (AP) -- The Japanese government has decided to freeze the assets of 10 groups and 12 individuals related to Iran's nuclear and missile programs, under a UN sanction resolution approved in December.
"We must execute the measures with a determined will and resolve because (the Iranian nuclear problem) affects the nuclear non-proliferation regime and North Korea's nuclear problem," Foreign Minister Taro Aso told reporters after the cabinet approved the measures.
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also decided to ban transfer of funds in connection with Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The measures will become effective today.
Japan, despite being a close U.S. ally, has maintained close trade ties with Iran. Asia's largest economy is almost entirely dependent on the Middle East for its oil, and imports about 15 percent of its total oil consumption from Iran.
Last year, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution imposing sanctions that target Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.