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TOKYO, March 24. /TASS/. The trade turnover between Russia and Japan dropped almost 25% to $16 bln last year, while the amount of direct investment from Japan plunged by 80% in Q1-Q3 2016, Russia’s Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin said ahead of the meeting with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko on Friday.
"The statistics of 2016 shows that the trade turnover was only $16 bln, which is a 25% decrease. Direct investments from Japan to Russia also went down, in the first three quarters of 2016 Japanese investments to Russia dropped 80%," he said.
Oreshkin said he expects the cooperation plan between the two countries to spur the expansion of economic ties between them. He also said that his appointment to the post of special presidential envoy on trade and economic cooperation with Japan means "not a replacement of a team member, but its strengthening."
On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Maxim Oreshkin as his special representative on trade and economic cooperation with Japan. Seko is in charge of the development of Japan’s economic relations with Russia.
In December 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on joint development economic initiatives on the islands. The two sides adopted a joint statement, which said that the beginning of consultations on joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands would be an important step towards signing a peace treaty by the two neighbors. Also, the sides assume that the statement and any agreements reached on this background on establishing joint economic activities and the implementation of those activities itself will not hurt the positions of Russia and Japan regarding the peace treaty issue.
On March 18, officials of the two governments met in Tokyo for the first round of Russian-Japanese consultations regarding joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and his Japanese counterpart Takeo Akiba participated in the consultations.