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Nemuro mayor to join Northern Territories field study team

By Hiroaki Honma

 

Shunsuke Hasegawa, mayor of Nemuro City, Hokkaido, will likely join the field study team composed of 67 representatives of the public and private sectors to be dispatched on Aug. 16 by the Japanese government to look into Japan-Russia joint economic activities on the Northern Territories. Hasegawa was barred by Russia from participating [in the two teams dispatched] last year. According to sources, the Japanese government communicated the go-ahead to Nemuro City on Aug. 14. It is thought that Russia changed its stance in light of the fact that Nemuro City, as a neighboring local government, would be a base for the joint economic activities if they were realized.

 

This is the third field study, and it will look into aquaculture and agriculture on the three islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, and Shikotan over a period of five days. Russia did not allow Hasegawa to participate in the first delegation sent in June 2017 or in the second tour dispatched in October. Sensitive over foreign relations at the time of the Ukraine issue, the Russian side drafted a list of sanctions, and it apparently is thought that Hasegawa was denied entry because he was on the list for some reason. It is said Russia gave no explanation for its change of stance. 

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