Japan does not recognise Crimea vote - govt spokesman

TOKYO, March 17 Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:37pm EDT

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TOKYO, March 17 (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.

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