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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, May 17 (Itar-Tass) — A discussion of matters concerning friendship and economic cooperation between Sakhalin Region and Japan's Hokkaido Prefecture began here on Thursday upon the arrival of a Hokkaido delegation, led by Suzuki Yasuyuki, Chairman of the Hokkaido "Japan-Russia" Society.
Sergei Khotockin, Deputy Chairman of the Sakhalin Region government, has met with the Japanese delegation. He emphasized that much importance is attached in Sakhalin Region to the Hokkaido guests' visit here. "Japan is one of key trading partners of Sakhalin Region. The share of Japan in the region's foreign-trade turnover is 40 percent," Khotochkin pointed out.
Hokkaido delegation leader Suzuki Yasuyuki believes that Sakhalin Region and the northernmost Japanese prefecture must step up cooperation in the fields of the food industry, finance, and housing construction. Sakhalin employs the same technologies for the construction of frost-resistant and earthquake-proof buildings as are used on Hokkaido.
Speakers at the meeting also pointed out that a large amount of work is to be done in 2012 to draw up a new programme for economic cooperation between Russia's Far Eastern regions and Hokkaido in the 2013-2017 period.