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Japan to insist on its own approach towards joint economic activities on Kuril Islands

March 03, 8:30 UTC+3 TOKYO

Shinzo Abe repeatedly noted that such activities should be based on "special system," which is designed especially for this purpose

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© Sergei Krivosheev/TASS

TOKYO, March 3. /TASS/. Japan’s government is going to insist on its own approach towards joint economic activities with Russia on southern Kuril Islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Friday.

"We are determined to promote our ideas," he said.

According to him, during the upcoming consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the two countries which is scheduled for March 18, the Japanese party would like to discuss, "what options of joint activities can be carried out, providing that Japan's position in the territorial dispute on those territories is not violated.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeatedly noted that such activities should be based on "special system," which is designed especially for this purpose.

Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev said that the advanced development territory (ADT) on the Kuril Islands can be created with but also without participation of the Japanese party.

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Japan on December 15-16, 2016. The talks resulted in signing a joint statement saying in particular that "start of consultations on joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands could become an important start towards conclusion of a peace treaty."

The parties proceed from the fact that the statement, any progress made on the basis of the agreement on development of joint economic activities and its implementation "do not pose damage the positions of Russia and Japan on the issue of a peace treaty."

In early February, japan established the Council on joint economic activities with Russia in the southern Kuril Islands. It was headed by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Hiroshige Seko, who is responsible for the development of economic relations with Russia. The new entity considers specific projects of cooperation in the southern Kuril Islands, including fishing, seafood farming, tourism and environmental protection.

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