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    YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, MARCH 5, 2004. (RIA NOVOSTI) -The Igor Farkhutdinov steamer bearing the name of the Sakhalin governor who was killed in an air crash, is to set out on March 21 on its maiden voyage to Japan.

    This comfortable liner purchased at a Novorossiysk auction as an oceanic-class vessel under the name of Admiral Lazarev, will leave the South Sakhalin port of Kholmsk to call at the Japanese port of Otaru located on the Northern Japanese island Hokkaido, reports the regional transport and communications deputy chief Yury Shapovalov. The steamer is meant to carry tourist groups to Japan and to service internal passenger haulage between Sakhalin and the Kurils.

    The former governor saw one of his tasks in establishing regular transport communication between Sakhalin and the Kuril ridge islands included into the insular Sakhalin region. Igor Farkhutdinov was killed in an air crash on Kamchatka on August 20 last year when the helicopter Mi-8 carrying him and other high-ranking officials of the Sakhalin administration crashed at the foot of the Opala mount in the south of the Kamchatka peninsular on its way to Severo-Kurilsk. The other 19 people on board were also killed.

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