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Japan wants economic survey with Russia this fall

A senior Japanese government official says he has sounded out Russia on conducting another on-site survey together this autumn for proposed joint economic activities on Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s special advisor Eiichi Hasegawa and Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori met Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov in Moscow on Thursday. A bilateral summit in Russia is scheduled for September.

After the talks, Hasegawa told reporters that his side asked Russia to carry out another joint survey as early as possible. The survey was supposed to be held on the islands this month but was postponed because of bad weather.

Russia controls the islands. Japan claims them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.

Mori said his side conveyed concern to Morgulov about Russia’s plan to stage joint massive military drills with China in September in a region including the islands.

Mori said the drills run counter to the stance of the Japanese government.

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