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Russia plans to designate Northern Territories as special economic zone

Sankei gave top play to an ITAR-TASS report saying that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Trutnev, who is in charge of the Far Eastern Federal District, stated on Thursday that Moscow has decided to designate the southern part of the Kuril Islands, including the Northern Territories, a special economic zone. Several other papers ran similar inside-page reports, with Nikkei speculating that the statement was intended to give Russia an advantage in its bilateral discussions with Japan on their joint economic activities in the Northern Territories.

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