5 Oct 2018 11:13

Third Japanese business mission ends visit to S. Kuril Islands

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. Oct 5 (Interfax) - The third Japanese business mission left the Kuril Islands for Nemuro on the Japanese Island of Hokkaido on board MV Etopirika on Friday afternoon, a representative of the Sakhalin Regional Economic Development Ministry told Interfax.

"The ship of the visitors left the port of Yuzhno-Kurilsk [on the Kunashir Island] for Hokkaido on Friday afternoon," the representative said.

The Japanese business mission arrived in the Kuril Islands on October 2 and visited Kunashir and Iturup. The visit to Shikotan was cancelled because of bad weather.

"The business mission focused on five areas coordinated by the governments, namely aquaculture, tourism, greenhouses, wind power generation, and waste treatment. While in Kunashir, the Japanese guests toured possible venues of joint projects in the aforesaid areas," he said.

They examined locations of a future waste treatment plant and vegetable and strawberry greenhouses.

The delegation members familiarized themselves with tourism facilities and sightseeing routes that could be offered to Japanese tourists.

The business mission had the final round of consultations with regional and federal officials in Yuzhno-Kurilsk on Friday morning. "The sides reported their activity and discussed matters that needed further clarification. The results of the business mission's visit will be presented to the working group of the Russian Economic Development Ministry," the representative said.

The 61-member business mission was comprised of officials and representatives of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and led by the Japanese Prime Minister's Advisor Eiichi Hasegawa.

Moscow and Tokyo agreed after the Russian president visited Japan on December 15 and 16, 2016, to consider a possibility of joint economic activity on the South Kuril Islands. In February 2017, the Japanese Foreign Ministry set up the Joint Economic Activity Related Council headed by the foreign minister.

Two Japanese business missions visited the Kuril Islands in June and October of last year, and the local authorities invited Japan to join the construction of engineering infrastructure, residential buildings, and roads, waste management projects, and the development of medical diagnostic services and tourism.

Japanese business was also invited to harvest and use bio-resources not subject to quotas and increasing in numbers, such as herring and mackerel, in the South Kuril waters. The breeding of sea urchins in South Kuril lagoons was also on the table.