Japan Minister Opposes Russia's Tariff-Free Zone Proposal


Tokyo, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday that the Russia-proposed tariff-free special economic zone on the islands at the center of the bilateral territorial dispute conflicts with Japan's position.

Motegi made the remarks during his talks with Lavrov in New York. The tariff-free zone on the four northwestern Pacific islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan, has been proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Motegi noted that Japan wants joint economic activities on the islands to be conducted in a way that does not damage its legal position.

He also said that Japan plans to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, including on the conclusion of a World War II peace treaty.

Motegi and Lavrov agreed to continue related discussions.

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