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Russia to wait 2 months for progress in joint activities

Jiji Press VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Jiji Press) — Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev has said his country will wait for two months for concrete progress, such as participation by Japanese investors, to be made in joint economic activities on and around the northern territories.

If no progress is made during the two-month period, Russia will then start accepting investors from third countries to a special economic zone set for one of the four islands, he told a press conference Thursday to sum up a two-day annual meeting of the Russia-led Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok through the same day.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed in late August a decision to unilaterally designate the island, called Shikotan in Japan, as a special zone where preferential treatments such as tax breaks will be given. Japan opposes companies from third countries operating on any of the islands under Russia’s jurisdiction.

At their meeting in the Russian Far East city on Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to take steps to realize joint economic activities on and near the islands in five areas, including tourism and fish farming.

The remarks by Trutnev are believed to have been intended to prompt Japan to accelerate its efforts to push ahead with the initiative.

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