Japan said Friday it will freeze assets of 15 Russian individuals and nine organizations, including the head of the GRU military intelligence service and deputy defense ministers, as it extends its sanctions regime amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The fresh measure, which targets GRU chief Igor Kostyukov and arms exporter Rosoboronexport among others, brings the number of Russian individuals and groups subject to Japan's sanctions to a total of 95.

Under the asset freezing sanctions, targeted individuals and groups are not able to conduct financial transactions without permission.

Japan has frozen assets of the Russian central bank as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko among others.

Tokyo has already announced its intention to strip Russia of its "most favored nation" status, which gave Moscow the best possible trade terms on key products, as a punishment for its military aggression against Ukraine. The decision is in line with the United States and European nations.

To support Ukraine, Japan has sent bulletproof vests, helmets and winter battle uniforms and vowed to provide emergency humanitarian assistance of $100 million comprising medical items and food.

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