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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, praised the launch of several new economic projects on Saturday in Osaka, but failed to reach any major breakthrough in a long-standing territorial dispute — a huge setback for Abe, who has invested a significant amount of political capital in the issue.

In a news conference after the meeting, conducted on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Abe said the two agreed to “continue negotiations” over the dispute of the Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, called the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kurils in Russia.

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