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- Japanese foreign minister reiterates Kuril claim ahead of Moscow visit
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The Russian authorities are ready to offer concessions to foreign investors who choose to do business on the Kuril Islands, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
"We are ready to discuss various preferences for foreign investors on the Kurils. Our laws allow this," he said at a news conference after talks with his Japanese counterpart, Seiji Maehara, who is on a two-day visit to Moscow.
Russia would be pleased with the participation of foreign investors, including from China, Korea and Japan, he added.
"There are a number of areas there with good prospects for the application of joint efforts - fish processing, fishing infrastructure as a whole, geothermal energy, and tourism," Lavrov said.
The sparsely populated islands in the Kuril chain between Japan's northern island of Hokkaido and Russia's far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula were annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II but are still claimed by Japan.
The dispute over the islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan, has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty.
MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti)
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