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Two senior Russian officials visit Northern Territories

Mainichi, Sankei, and Nikkei reported that the telecommunication and information minister and one other senior Russian official visited Shikotan on Tuesday to attend a ceremony marking the installation of an optical fiber network connecting the Northern Territories and Sakhalin. Noting that it is extremely unusual for high-ranking Russian government officials to travel to the disputed islet, Mainichi conjectured that the trip was intended to rein in growing expectations in Japan for the swift return of Shikotan and Habomai. The GOJ reportedly lodged a protest over the visit.


NHK carried a similar report this morning, noting that the Russian government tapped Chinese IT equipment giant Huawei to lay the undersea cables for this 5.5-billion-yen project.

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