22:22 GMT +319 October 2018
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    The Atlasova Volcano, Kuril Islands

    'Case by Case': Tokyo Preparing Business Mission to Russian Kurils

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    Legal framework for the activities of the Japanese business mission to the Kuril Islands, planned for July-August will be decided on the case-by-case basis, Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, told reporters on Saturday.

    "For the time being, it will be solved project by project, on the case-by-case basis… We need to try first to do that, case by case, but in parallel we need to agree on a framework," Maruyama said, when asked if the mission's activities would be regulated by Russian or Japanese laws.

    The foreign press secretary said that both sides believed they were entering "a new phase of the preparations for the joint economic activities."

    Maruyama stressed that the business mission was going to be new in essence, "because it will be composed of businesspeople who will be interested in implementing the projects themselves."

    Earlier on Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow and discussed joint economic activities of the two countries on the Kuril Islands, claimed by both countries, in detail. They agreed that a Japanese business mission may visit the islands in July or August this year.

    Russia and Japan are seeking joint economic activities on the disputed islands in five fields: agriculture, cultivation of vegetables in greenhouses, organization of tourist trips, hydropower, and waste recycling.

    The Kuril Islands are the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. The latter lays claim to Kunashir, Iturup, Shikotan islands and the Habomai group of islets. The dispute has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a peace treaty after World War II.

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    Tags:
    mission, joint venture, territorial dispute, business, cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Norio Maruyama, Japan, Russia, Kuril Islands
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