Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

Russian Far East Key for Negotiations

Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

Russian Far East Key for Negotiations

Article excerpt

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- During his two-day visit to Vladivostok through Saturday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized reinforcing economic cooperation with Russia, especially development in the Russian Far East.

"Shall we meet in Vladivostok once a year to mutually confirm progress on the eight points?" Abe asked Putin at the forum.

Abe also mentioned some practical measures of the plan at the bilateral meeting on Friday.

Japan places special importance on development in the Far East region, including Vladivostok. The lineup of assistance includes measures for the development of the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries, the improvement of transportation infrastructure, and the improvement of living conditions in the region.

More than 100 officials from Japanese companies attended the forum, more than last year's attendance of about 80 people. The Japanese government asked companies to take part, demonstrating cooperation between Japan's public and private sectors.

On Saturday, Abe held talks with company officials who attended the forum, saying, "I will assist Japanese companies' business activities in Russia more enthusiastically than before."

In the Russian Far East, improvements in infrastructure have been delayed and the population has declined. A diplomatic source close to Japan-Russia relations said that Putin is "most interested" in the region. Japan is hoping that economic cooperation in the region will favorably affect negotiations over the northern territories.

The source also said Abe chose Vladivostok as an annual meeting place because he wishes to "please the top leader of Russia. …

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