Japan freezes Syrian president's assets

TOKYO - Japan on Friday froze assets of Syrian President Bashar Assad and related individuals and groups, following US and European sanctions aimed at bringing about a democratic transition in the Middle Eastern country.
The United States, the EU and other Western powers want Assad to end a violent five-month-old crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that the United Nations says has killed 2,000 civilians.Japan does not import crude oil or oil products from Syria, and a finance ministry official said any assets in Japan held by Assad and 14 other individuals and six groups on the sanction list are likely limited.
"Our country needs to contribute to global efforts aimed at resolving the problems in Syria," Kyodo news agency quoted Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba as telling a cabinet meeting.
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