Japan has decided to maintain its interests in the Sakhalin-2 oil and liquefied natural gas project in the Russian Far East, with the government coordinating with two Japanese stakeholders to that end, government sources said Saturday.

With the plan, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. would keep 12.5% and 10% stakes, respectively, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's signing of an order that sets up a new operating company to tighten its grip on the project.

Putin's action is seen as retaliation against Japan and other countries for sanctions they slapped on Russia over its military aggression in Ukraine.