TOKYO, December 16. /TASS/. Working group meeting on joint economic activities on southern Kuriles will be held on December 18 in Moscow. On the evening of 15 December, said the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Japan.

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Moscow, Tokyo and the southern Kuril Islands: what is known about the planned joint activities

As noted, in Moscow to meet the leaders of the group on commercial aspects of joint economic activities – the Director of the Department support projects in the Asia-Pacific region the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Natalia Stapran and the Director of the Department of Europe the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Japan Yasushi Masaki, and also the head of group on consular and logistical issues, Deputy Director of the consular Department of the MFA nail Latypov and Advisor of the Department of Europe the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Japan, Toshihiro Aika . In addition, as expected, the meeting will be attended by the representatives of the agencies and departments of the two countries relevant to the joint activities on the Islands.

Agreement to hold meetings of the working groups was reached following talks between the foreign Ministers of the two countries Sergey Lavrov and Taro Kono in Moscow in late November. As expected, the results of the meetings of the working groups will decide on the timing of the next round of negotiations under the leadership of Deputy foreign Ministers, tentatively it is scheduled for early next year.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe in Vladivostok on 7 September reported that the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the two countries selected a number of promising projects on the Islands, including in the field of aquaculture, wind energy, creating greenhouse farms, disposal of garbage, development of a batch of tourist trips. Joint economic activities on the Islands side, viewed as a step towards concluding a peace Treaty. However, as pointed out by Japanese observers, Tokyo and Moscow still disagree on how to implement such projects. Russia believes that it must be done within the framework of its legislation, as Japan proposes to establish a “special system” in these areas.

Moscow and Tokyo many decades conducting consultations with the aim of developing a peace Treaty at the end of the Second world war. The main obstacle to this is the issue of membership of the southern part of the Kuril Islands: after the war, the entire archipelago was incorporated into the Soviet Union, but Japan disputes ownership of the Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and group of Islands, which in Japan is called Habomai. As repeatedly stated by the Russian foreign Ministry, the Russian sovereignty over them with appropriate international legal design, not subject to doubt.