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TOKYO, August 24. /TASS/. Japan’s Foreign Ministry does not comment on reports about Russia’s creating an advanced development territory on Shikotan, one of the Kuril Islands, an official with the ministry told TASS.
"Of course, we are aware of it. On behalf of the government we do not comment on the information about establishing a special zone in a village on Shikotan," the official said.
At the same time Japan closely follows Russia’s actions on the "four northern islands" (this is how Japan calls the southern part of the Russian Kurils - TASS), the official said.
"We will continue to present the position of the Japanese party to Russia and we will respond in the proper way," the diplomat added.
On August 23, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to create the Kurils advanced development territory (ADT) in the village of Malokurilskoye on the island of Shikotan. It will contribute to the formation of an industrial center for deep processing of fish and other aquatic biological resources in the Sakhalin region. The regime of ADT will provide the region with competitive advantages for attracting investors and selling products of industrial enterprises, including on the markets of the Asia-Pacific region.
Russia and Japan have been negotiating a peace treaty following World War II since mid-20th century. The main stumbling block to this is the issue of the ownership of the southern Kuril Islands. After the end of World War II, all Kuril Islands were incorporated into the Soviet Union. However, the ownership of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan islands and the Habomai Islands is challenged by Japan.