The Japanese Sony and Nintendo stop their activities in Russia | Russia–Ukraine War

The companies are the latest global brands to join a growing exodus from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Japanese gaming giants Sony and Nintendo have halted shipments to Russia, joining a growing list of global brands leaving the country after Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Sony Interactive Entertainment, the maker of the PlayStation 5, announced on Thursday that it has suspended the launch of the racing game “Gran Turismo 7” and PlayStation Store operations in Russia.

Sony Group also said it had donated $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Save the Children “to support the victims of this tragedy”.

Nintendo said it was suspending all exports to Russia “for the foreseeable future”, citing “the volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods”.

The Kyoto-based company, maker of the popular Switch console, also said it has delayed the release of turn-based strategy game “Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp,” which was supposed to launch on April 8.

Last week, Nintendo said it put its eShop in Russia for maintenance after its payment provider suspended Russian ruble transactions.

Also on Thursday, Hitachi, one of Japan’s largest electronics and construction equipment makers, announced it would suspend operations in Russia, citing “multiple factors including the supply chain situation.” .

Hitachi made the announcement days after Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov urged the company to sever ties with Russia on social media, although she did not link the decision to Ukrainian pressure.

Corporate exodus

The moves come amid an unprecedented exodus of mostly Western brands from Russia, including Shell, Apple, Disney, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Ikea.

Japanese automakers and airlines have also halted exports to Russia and suspended flights to Europe, respectively, citing logistical issues and security concerns.

Japan, one of the United States’ closest allies, has taken a harder line against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military operation against Ukraine than other countries in the region, where most governments refused to assign responsibility for the conflict.

Tokyo announced on Tuesday that it would freeze the assets of dozens of Russian and Belarusian officials and oligarchs, after earlier announcing sanctions targeting Russia’s central bank and the country’s access to the international payment system SWIFT.

Besides Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan announced sanctions against Moscow, while Indonesia said it condemned “any action that clearly constitutes a violation of a country’s territory and sovereignty”.