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  • NHK: RUSSIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TO THE FAR EAST SAYS THE GOVERNMENT WILL INTRODUCE A MEASURE DESIGNED TO SPUR POPULATION GROWTH IN A SET OF DISPUTED ISLANDS THERE

    06 August 2015

    Russia’s presidential envoy to the Far East says the government will introduce a measure designed to spur population growth in a set of disputed islands there. Russia controls the four islands. Japan claims sovereignty over them, and refers to them as the Northern Territories.

    Yury Trutnev, who is also Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, spoke to NHK on Thursday ahead of an international economic forum scheduled for early next month in Vladivostok.

    Trutnev suggested that the Russian government will apply a free land-lending plan to the islands as part of efforts to boost population in the Far East region.

    He said inviting people and investment is necessary to develop the islands.

    He also said preparations are now under way to establish a special economic zone in the region they call the Kuril Islands. The islands include Japan’s Northern Territories.

    He said things would not turn favorably when politics comes before the economy, adding that the region’s economic development which will be beneficial for both Russians and Japanese should be pursued.

    His remarks suggested a call for Japan’s cooperation in the development of the disputed islands.

    Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced last month a 10-year investment plan worth about one billion dollars on what they call the Kuril Islands.

    An NHK correspondent says Trutnev’s latest remarks reflect Russia’s intentions to take an initiative in promoting development of the region while sitting down for territorial talks with Japan.