YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th August, 2018) SAKHALINSK, August 16 (Sputnik) - A third delegation of Japanese officials and business executives will travel to Russias Southern Kuril Islands in the Pacific to discuss joint projects, a consulate officer in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk told Sputnik.
"A delegation comprising 70 businessmen and officials of various rank from Tokyo and several cities on Hokkaido will arrive on Kunashir aboard the Etopirika passenger ship coming from the port city of Nemuro early on August 17," Yasuhiko Shimizu said.
The group, led by Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Eiichi Hasegawa, will split up into five subgroups that will each address seafood cultivation, tourism, agriculture, energy and hard waste disposal.
The two countries have been technically at war for over 70 years. A peace treaty has never been signed because Tokyo has been laying claims to a group of four islands off the northern tip of Japan: Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai.
Relations improved after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Japan in December 2016, with Moscow and Tokyo agreeing to work on joint projects on the islands and facilitate movement between the Kurils and Japan.