Abe, Putin Agree to Speed Up Work for Joint Economic Activities


Moscow, May 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in Moscow on Saturday to speed up work for realizing joint economic activities on the disputed islands off Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.

But the two leaders failed to achieve progress on the issue of designing a "special framework" for the joint activities in the five focused areas that will not undermine the legal positions of Japan and Russia over the Russian-held four northwestern Pacific islands, called Northern Territories in Japan, sources with access to the meeting said.

During the summit, which lasted nearly three hours, Abe and Putin gave the nod to a plan to send a private-sector survey mission on the joint activities in July or August.

Before the talks, Tokyo hoped that Moscow would ink the joint activity deals of launching sea urchin farming and strawberry production. But no announcements were made on the projects after the summit.

On regional issues, Abe and Putin reaffirmed the two nations' close cooperation in denuclearizing North Korea, and vowed to help the United States and North Korea successfully hold their first summit, according to the sources.

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