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China’s interest in acquiring an abandoned stake in a Russian liquefied natural gas export project is providing further justification for Japan to continue its joint venture with Gazprom PJSC.

“If Japan leaves a project, then a third party can acquire it,” trade minister Koichi Hagiuda said in Tokyo on Friday. “Exiting energy projects in Russia would push up prices even further, and would not be an effective sanction strategy.”

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