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Japan, Russia to agree on joint economic projects

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to agree on priority projects for joint economic activities on the 4 Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.
Abe will begin a 2-day visit to Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East on Wednesday to attend the Eastern Economic Forum. The summit with Putin is scheduled for Thursday.
The 2 sides are making arrangements to select 5 projects — farming marine products, growing vegetables in hothouses, tourism that focuses on the islands’ characteristics, wind power generation and reducing waste.
Both sides will also agree to conduct field surveys to put the projects into practice at an early date.
Abe plans to ask Putin to allow regular air travel by former Japanese residents of the islands so they can visit their ancestors’ graves. He will also request an increase in the number of entry points on the islands.
The 2 countries will sign more than 30 documents on the 8-point economic cooperation plan proposed by Japan.
The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.
North Korea is likely to be another topic at the summit.
Abe will also meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The Japanese side hopes to reaffirm its close cooperation with Seoul to adopt a new UN Security Council resolution to tighten sanctions on the North and to build forward-looking bilateral ties with South Korea.
(NKH World, Japan)

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