Japan Forms Interdepartmental Council on Cooperation With Russia on Kurils
TOKYO – The interdepartmental council on joint economic activities with Russia on the South Kuril Islands was formed in Japan and its first session will take place on the evening of February 7, Japanese media reported Tuesday.
“The government will work as a team to reach substantial results quickly,” Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said, as quoted by Kyodo news agency.
According to the outlet, Kishida said he would head the council, which will consider possibilities of the cooperation with Russia on fishery and tourism.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko will also reportedly be part of the council, as well as the representatives of the Finance Ministry, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, Health, Labour, and Welfare Ministry.
On February 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the two countries agreed to hold consultations on joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands in Tokyo in March.
On December 15-16, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Japan to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The sides agreed to start developing economic cooperation in the disputed area.
The Kuril Islands are the subject of the long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. Japan lays claim to Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islets. The territorial dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace treaty after World War II.
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