Vice Foreign Minister Shunji Yanai said April 8 that Japan is willing to consider a Russian proposal to jointly develop disputed islands off Hokkaido, adding it is a difficult issue because it involves both countries’ conflicting stances on sovereignty.

“The joint development involves the difficult issue of sovereignty, but we are ready to consider such development if concrete proposals are made by the Russian side,” Yanai told a press conference at the Japan National Press Club.

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