• Kyodo

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Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin expressed eagerness Friday to boost trade with Japan, a Japanese government official said.

The two nations have been trying to expand business ties party to make progress on a territorial dispute that has prevented them from signing a peace treaty to end World War II.

Oreshkin was quoted by the official as saying during a meeting with trade and industry minister Hiroshige Seko in Tokyo that he will make efforts to promote Japan-Russia cooperation because bilateral trade is more sluggish than that between Russia and China.

Oreshkin was appointed earlier this month as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative in charge of trade and economic cooperation with Japan. He is tasked with pushing for the eight-point economic cooperation proposal Prime Minister Shinzo Abe put forward to Putin at their meeting last May in Sochi, Russia.

Seko, the minister of economy, trade and industry, is also serving as minister for economic cooperation with Russia. He was quoted by the official as saying that Japanese companies have been working hard to strengthen relations with Russia.

The eight points include cooperation in medicine, energy development, industry promotion in the Russian Far East and personnel exchanges.

Although Oreshkin’s predecessor, Alexey Ulyukayev, was seen as the main candidate for the new Russian government post, he was fired after being detained last November on suspicion of receiving a $2 million bribe.

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