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Abe, Putin agree to expedite talks on joint economic activities in Northern Territories

All Sunday papers wrote that Prime Minister Abe and Russian President Putin met in Hamburg on Friday and agreed to accelerate talks by working-level officials in order to swiftly implement joint economic activities in the Northern Territories. The two nations’ vice foreign ministers plan to hold talks in Moscow in late August to identify specific joint projects on the disputed islands. The papers projected, however, that it will be difficult for the two parties to work out a “special legal system” for implementing the joint activities in a manner that does not compromise each party’s legal claims. Tokyo is reportedly concerned that following Moscow’s recent designation of the four islets as a special economic zone, foreign companies will be tempted to make investments there based on Russian laws. 

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