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Putin celebrates fishery plant opening on northern island

Jiji PressVLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Jiji Press) — Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated on Thursday the opening of a new large fishery processing plant built on one of the northern territories.

Talking with workers of the plant via a video link, Putin, now on a visit to Vladivostok, said he prays for the success of the factory built by major Russian fishery products company Gidrostroy.

Putin apparently intended to highlight Russia’s effective control of the island, called Shikotan, and the other three islands, just before holding a bilateral summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later on Thursday, on the sidelines of an Eastern Economic Forum meeting in the Russian Far East city, pundits said.

The Russian government designated Shikotan as a priority zone for economic development in 2017.

In May, Russia said it will expand projects in the zone, clarifying its stance of developing the island on its own.

Through the video link, Putin also had talks with officials on Shikotan and in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk.

On Sunday, a series of local elections will take place in Russia, including a governor poll in Sakhalin, a province in the Far East, which administers the four islands.

As ruling party-backed candidates are reportedly facing uphill battles in the races, Putin apparently utilized the start of the new factory as an election ploy, analysts said.

Abe to visit India in December

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit India in December, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday.

The trip by Abe is part of mutual visits by the two countries’ leaders to each other’s nations, Modi said during his talks with the prime minister in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East.

Modi said he hopes that before Abe’s visit, the two countries will conclude an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement to allow the Self-Defense Forces and the Indian military to mutually provide food and ammunition.

The Indian leader also said India and Japan are preparing to hold the first “two-plus-two” meeting of their foreign and defense ministers before Abe’s visit.

Abe and Modi also exchanged views on Japan’s initiative for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and the planned Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement.

On the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, Abe said self-restraint is needed to prevent tensions from heightening. He said he expects the issue to be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

Mongolia to help on N. Korea

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga agreed on Thursday that their countries will cooperate to denuclearize North Korea.

In their meeting in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, Abe called for the cooperation of Mongolia, which has close ties to North Korea, to resolve the issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese citizens.Speech

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