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Published: Monday March 17, 2014 MYT 10:50:02 AM
Updated: Monday March 17, 2014 MYT 10:51:00 AM

Japan does not recognise Crimea vote - govt spokesman

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Japanese government does not recognise a referendum in Crimea on seceding from Ukraine and calls upon Russia not to annex the Ukrainian region, its top government spokesman said on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Tokyo will respond on sanctions against Russia in coordination with the Group of Seven leading economies.

Crimea's Moscow-backed leaders declared a 96-percent vote in favour of quitting Ukraine and annexation by Russia in a referendum Western powers said was illegal and will bring immediate sanctions.

(Reporting by Sumio Ito; Writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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