Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks to the media during a press conference at PM's official residence in Tokyo. Picture: AP Photo/ Shizuo Kambayashi

Tokyo - Japan decided on Wednesday to expand its sanctions on North Korea in protest against Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch, which Tokyo considered a missile test.

The new sanctions will include restrictions on remittances to and cash carried into North Korea and a complete ban on the entry of North Korean-registered vessels into Japanese ports, even for humanitarian purposes.

Tokyo also decided to bar North Korean residents from entering Japan, the Foreign Ministry said.

On Sunday, North Korea launched a long-range rocket that Pyongyang said was carrying a satellite.

The UN Security Council condemned the move as a missile test.

The launch came one month after the reclusive country conducted a nuclear test.

In July 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government decided to ease some of its sanctions on North Korea as it pledged to launch a reinvestigation into its past abductions of Japanese nationals.

Pyongyang has yet to report its outcome to Tokyo.

DPA