March 10, 2022
TOKYO – Japanese employees and their families are increasingly being evacuated from Russia, after Japan’s Foreign Ministry on Monday raised its four-stage danger ranking for Russia to Level 3, at which point people are urged to avoid all travel.
Mazda Motor Corp. has decided to temporarily evacuate all six employees on temporary assignment to its Vladivostok plant and its Moscow sales base. Panasonic Corp. is making arrangements to evacuate Japanese staff stationed in Russia and their families, but has not disclosed the number or where they will be evacuated to.
Komatsu Ltd. has also ordered its Japanese staff to temporarily leave Russia, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. is preparing to evacuate one employee of its local subsidiary. Shimadzu Corp. is planning to evacuate two employees stationed in Moscow to Germany, while Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. has decided to bring some of its approximately 10 employees back to Japan.
■ JCB to suspend operations
Card payment giant JCB Co. announced on Tuesday that it will suspend operations in Russia. The company’s measures are expected to take effect on Monday at the earliest — among other steps, JCB cards issued by financial institutions outside Russia will no longer work in that country.
U.S. giants Visa and Mastercard have already announced similar measures.
According to JCB, the company will suspend its own payment network in Russia. JCB cards issued in Russia will no longer function in Japan for the payment of bills or for borrowing money at automated teller machines. JCB cards issued in Russia will work in that country.
■ NHK World-Japan suspended
NHK announced Monday that broadcasts of its NHK World-Japan have been suspended in Russia, effective Monday evening Moscow time (early Tuesday morning in Japan), apparently due to increased restrictions on news reporting in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
NHK World-Japan broadcasts news and other programs in English 24 hours a day, and was available to about 18 million households in Russia. The local agency reportedly notified NHK of the suspension after a bill was passed in the Russian parliament on Friday to establish a new provision in the Criminal Code related to spreading “false information” about the Russian military.