Abe, Putin Agree to Send Joint Mission to Disputed Isles in May (News)
Moscow, April 27 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Thursday that the two countries will send a joint public-private survey mission to northwestern Pacific islands at the center of the two countries' territorial row as early as in May as part of efforts to materialize joint economic activities there.
At their 17th summit, held about three hours and 10 minutes at the Kremlin in Moscow, Abe and Putin also confirmed that aircraft will be used for travel to the islands by former residents for visiting the graves of their ancestors.
Aircraft has never been used for such travel. The use of aircraft is aimed at easing the burden of former islanders, many of whom are aging.
In Japan, the islands are known as Etorofu, the Habomais, Kunashiri and Shikotan, and collectively as the Northern Territories.
The first travel by former residents using aircraft, to Etorofu and Kunashiri, will take place in June in a special grave visit program.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]