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Japan opposes Russia’s plan to establish tariff-free zone on disputed isles 

Kyodo News reported that Foreign Minister Motegi said on Thursday that he told his Russian counterpart Lavrov during their talks in New York that Tokyo cannot accept Moscow’s proposal to launch a tariff-free special economic zone in the disputed islands. During their meeting, held on the fringes of the UN General Assembly sessions, Lavrov took up the issue and Motegi repeated Tokyo’s position that Japan does not support the scheme as it would involve applying Russian laws to the islands. Motegi told Lavrov that Japan wants to develop its relationship with Russia broadly and mutually, including through efforts to conclude a peace treaty. “We agreed to continue talks by using various opportunities toward broad development of Japan-Russia relations,” Motegi told reporters after the meeting. The bilateral meeting was the first in-person session between Motegi and Lavrov in about 19 months. 

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