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Japan seeking long-term cooperation with Russia on Northern Sea Route — ambassador

In 2017, the Yamal LNG project kicked off in Russia and raised a wave of enthusiasm in Japan

TROMSO /Norway/, January 24. /TASS/. Japan has generated enormous interest in development of the Northern Sea Route, gas projects in Yamal and long-term cooperation with Russia, Japanese Ambassador for International Economic Affairs Keiji Ide told TASS on Wednesday.

Ambassador for International Economic Affairs, Ambassador for the Japan Year in Russia and Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs Keiji Ide attended the Arctic Frontiers international conference in the Norwegian city of Tromso, located over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The diplomat has a perfect command of Russian after working for many years at Japan’s embassy in Moscow.

"Unconditionally, there is enormous interest in the Northern Sea Route. Business people from Hokkaido were speaking about it at today’s conference," the ambassador said. "Of course, it is just a beginning. People assess risks and calculate what is profitable or not. They are considering them very carefully."

In 2017, the Yamal LNG project kicked off in Russia and raised a wave of enthusiasm in Japan that is looking forward to its development. Japanese businesses welcome the idea to build infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) production in Kamchatka, the ambassador said.

Ide is convinced that melting Arctic ice caps will open new opportunities for various economic projects.

"We want to collaborate with our Russian friends pursuing a long-term goal," the diplomat added. "Regardless of a rift between our countries in politics, we cannot say we do not want to develop our relations. On the contrary, if we come across either some difficulties or disagreements, those need to be overcome."

"Thanks God, your President [Vladimir] Putin and our Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe enjoy warm, good relations, so we will be developing economic cooperation with Russia," he said.