Japan and Russia are making efforts to foster mutual understanding and trust through people-to-people exchange and seeking the possibility of joint economic activities in the Four Northern Islands, despite the difference of views with regard to those islands.
Former island residents met with current island residents and exchanged opinions regarding joint economic activities. (May 2017)
Former island residents met with current island residents and exchanged opinions regarding joint economic activities. (June 2017)
Young residents of the islands visited Sapporo and enjoyed an exchange with local college students. (July 2017)
Based on the agreements reached between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin in December of last year and April of this year, a 69-member research team which included government officials as well as specialists from the private sector visited the Four Northern Islands from June 27 to July 1. The purpose of the visit was to study the potential of joint economic activities in those islands, and the team visited sites related to project proposals both from Japan and Russia. As they traveled to each island, the team members met with the governor of the Sakhalin region, Oleg Kozhemyako, and enjoyed a warm reception from the island residents while visiting sites related to fisheries, sightseeing, infrastructure and energy, medical care, and daily living.