TOKYO, March 19. /Offset. TASS Vasily Golovnin/. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida considers cooperation with Russia on the South Kuril Islands in fisheries, tourism, medicine and other fields in forms that do not challenge the positions of the two countries about the ownership of these territories. He stated this in an interview with TASS ahead of the upcoming Tokyo March 20 meeting of the foreign Ministers and defense ministries of the two countries in the format of “two plus two”.
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“About joint economic activities on the four Northern Islands, the Minister said, in December last year following the meeting of the two leaders it was agreed to start consultations on cooperation in fisheries, mariculture, tourism, medicine, ecology and in other possible areas . All of these areas seem to me promising, if you think about the potential of the four Northern Islands with their rich nature and geographical conditions”.
“In Japan, – said Kishida, – established the Council of representatives of the interested ministries and departments under my presidency, it is the consideration of issues, aimed at the formation of specific projects. March 18, Japan will visit the Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov, and in Tokyo will have to undergo formal consultations on this issue at the level of Deputy Ministers”.
“Very important is the fact that Japan and Russia together are now determining the future shape of the four Islands, – said the Minister. – Want to see our country engaged constructively and in ways which do not prejudice the legal positions of Japan and Russia”.
According to the press, Tokyo has prepared a package of proposals on joint economic activities on southern Kuriles. We are talking about the organization of cruise tours around the Islands ‘ waters, the provision of health care to their population of Japanese physicians on the Internet. Projects in the field of fisheries prepared and fishers of the North – East of Japan.
Tokyo also intends to offer to conduct a joint survey of the area of the Islands to search for new objects of possible bilateral cooperation. In past years, progress in this direction has not been reached because of the reluctance of the Japanese side to recognize the Russian administration of the southern part of the Kuril Islands and to obtain from it the relevant documents to conduct business activities. Abe promises to make progress in this direction, without questioning the positions of the two countries.