Japan hosts talks to bolster Syria sanctions

An international meeting to coordinate sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is being held in Tokyo.

Host Japan says Friday's talks will give participating countries a forum to review the effectiveness of sanctions already in place. They will also consider new measures to stop the violence that has erupted in Syria, resulting in a civil war that activists say has killed 36,000 people.

The coalition of nearly 70 countries, including the U.S., the European Union and Arab League, last met in September. The group was established after the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a resolution condemning the Syrian regime, due to opposition from Russia and China.

Current sanctions include a freeze on Assad's assets and an embargo on oil and arms trade.