NEMURO /Japan/, July 1. /TASS/. A delegation of 70 Japanese officials and businessman has returned home from the first trip to the Southern Kurile chain of islands.
On Saturday, the ship Etopirika carrying the delegation arrived in the port of Nemuro on Hokkaido.
Eiichi Hasegawa, a special advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister was expected to give a news conference later where he would speak about the results of the work the delegation members had done.
The visit began on June 27. The delegation visited the islands of Kunashir, Irutup and Shikotan where it examined the condition of infrastructures and the opportunities for joint Russian-Japanese projects there.
The delegation included officials from the Japanese government staff, the Foreign Ministry, Economics Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, and the administration of the Northern Hokkaido Prefecture.
Businessmen also took part in the examination of possibe projects.
Following President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan on December 15-16, 2016, and his meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russia and Japan passed a joint statement saying the start of consultations on joint economic activity on the Southern Kurile islands could be an important prelude to the signign of a peace treaty, which the USSR and Japan never signed formally after the end of World War II.
First Russian-Japanese consultations were held in Tokyo in March.