The Japanese government will actively consider extending financial assistance to Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday. "The necessary sum will be determined after an onsite inspection by the IMF and consultations between the IMF and Ukraine," Kishida told reporters. Kishida made remarks after the US imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its takeover of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. Asked if Japan will impose sanctions on Russia over use of its armed forces in Ukraine, Kishida declined to comment, only saying, "We will appropriately react to the situation by taking into account future developments in Ukraine as well as actions by other countries." As for the Crimea parliament's decision to hold a referendum on March 16 on its separation from Ukraine, Kishida said, "We are closely monitoring the situation with grave anxiety and concern regret from the viewpoint of its territorial integrity. Also on Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barak Obama agreed during their telephone conversation to support economic and political reforms in Ukraine, and affirmed the importance of respecting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.