"On Japan-Russian cooperation, the three main parts are research, [the] Northern Sea Route and [the] Yamal LNG project," Shiraishi said.
The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane running along the Russian Arctic coast, allowing passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Northern coast of Siberia. In June 2015, Russia announced development plans for the Northern Sea Route for the period 2015-2030.
The Yamal LNG project is one of the largest industrial undertakings in the Russian Arctic, expected to have an annual capacity of 16.5 million metric tons of gas. The first Yamal LNG plant is scheduled to become operational in 2017.
In recent years, the Japanese authorities have been paying attention to the Arctic. In 2009, Japan officially submitted an application for Permanent Observer status to the Arctic Council, of which Russia is a member. Later, Japan started to engage more deeply in international policy on the Arctic, at both a ministerial level and at the level of research organizations.