The governments of Japan and Russia are working on the possibility of organizing regular sea communications between the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido and the South Kuriles in connection with the prospects for joint economic activities in these territories. This was reported on Wednesday by the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.
It is assumed that this route will be launched specifically for the trips of Japanese businessmen, as well as for the transport of goods and goods. This will be based on the experience of carrying out flights between Hokkaido and the islands of the Kuril chain on the ship “Etopirika”, which is used in the program of visa-free exchanges.However, his flights are strictly regulated, and their number in the navigation season depends on preliminary agreements between the representatives of Japan and Russia.
It is expected that the organization of a new regular route should become one of the main topics at the upcoming consultations at the end of August at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the two countries. The agreement to hold such a meeting was reached on the basis of talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg.
From June 27 to July 1, a group of Japanese officials and businessmen consisting of 70 people for the first time visited the three islands of the Kuril chain – Kunashir, Iturup and Shikotan. There they got acquainted with the state of the infrastructure and explored the possibilities for implementing joint projects in these territories.
The delegation included officials from the Japanese government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the administration of the northern prefecture of Hokkaido. In addition, business representatives took part in the study of joint projects.
Following the visit of Putin on December 15-16 last year to Japan and his meetings with Abe, a joint statement was adopted, which noted that an important step towards the conclusion of a peace treaty could be the beginning of consultations on joint economic activities in the South Kuril Islands. The first Russian-Japanese consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers on this issue were held in Tokyo in March.