Follow our liveblog about the war in Ukraine here
Muneo Suzuki, the Japanese deputy who traveled to Moscow last week, left the opposition party this Tuesday, after criticism for supporting Russia.
According to the secretary general of the Innovation Party of Japan, Fumitake Fujita, cited by The Guardian, the former vice-minister of Foreign Affairs submitted his letter of resignation, after the party was considering taking measures to expel him, due to the trip he took last week.
“The party decided to accept his wish”revealed Fujita, at a press conference.
This decision comes after the Japanese government said that “it had not been informed by Mr. Suzuki of his visit to Russia”, where he met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Rudenko.
Japanese government does not comment on pro-Russian Japanese deputy’s trip to Moscow
The deputy’s secretary, Shinji Akamatsu, said that he left for Russia “on an inspection trip”, adding that he was doing so “in the name of his own vision of the national interest”.
This both raised eyebrows among the populist party and went against Japan’s advice not to travel to Russia, “for whatever reason,” said Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa.
Despite no longer being in the party, Suzuki will continue as a deputy in parliament, until the end of his term, in 2025.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked, in a statement published before his resignation, Suzuki’s “important contribution” to the development of Russian-Japanese relations, regretting that this cooperation is “now being deliberately destroyed” by the sanctions adopted “to please the United States ” and by the “anti-Russian orientation of the collective West.”