MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. A group of representatives of Japan’s government and private sector will visit four Russian islands - Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai - on October 26-31 for additional inspection targeting joint economic activities, Japan’s embassy in Moscow reported on Wednesday.
"The trip is aimed at specifying five project candidates for early stage implementation, which was agreed at the top level and between foreign ministers in September," the report said.
Eiichi Hasegawa, a special advisor to Prime Minister, will head the group, the embassy said.
A delegation of 69 Japanese government officials and businessmen first visited the Kunashir, Iturup and Shikotan islands of the South Kuril Archipelago on June 27 - July 1. The delegation assessed the infrastructure facilities and explored the possibilities for implementing joint projects. They visited 64 facilities, including hospitals, power stations, sports centers and a hotel currently under construction.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put forward an eight-point cooperation plan to develop the relations with Russia during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 6, 2016. The plan includes efforts to foster relations between Japan and Russia in the energy sector, small and medium-sized businesses, the promotion of industrialization of the Far East, expansion of the export base, as well as the proposal to strengthen cooperation in the cutting-edge technologies, including nuclear energy, and the sphere of humanitarian exchanges. Later 30 priority projects for cooperation were defined.
On September 7, 2017 following a meeting with Abe, Putin said that the two counties’ foreign ministries had selected a number of promising projects ready for implementation, including in the field of aquaculture, wind energy, greenhouse business, waste recycling and package tours. The two sides consider joint economic activities to be a step towards making a peace treaty. Meanwhile, Japanese analysts have said that Tokyo and Moscow have different views regarding implementation of those projects. Russia proposes to do it within the limits of the Russian legislation, while Japan suggests that a certain ‘special system’ should be established on those territories.