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Russia, Japan to Focus on Arctic Research, Northern Sea Route

© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov / Go to the mediabankKara-Winter 2015 Arctic expedition
Kara-Winter 2015 Arctic expedition - Sputnik International
Japan's special ambassador for Arctic Affairs said that three main areas of cooperation between Russia and Japan in the Arctic include research, the Northern Sea Route and the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at the Lukoil company owned Imilorskoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Kogalym, Russia, January 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) The three main areas of cooperation between Russia and Japan in the Arctic include research, the Northern Sea Route and the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, Kazuko Shiraishi, Japan's special ambassador for Arctic Affairs, stated at a press conference in Moscow.

"On Japan-Russian cooperation, the three main parts are research, [the] Northern Sea Route and [the] Yamal LNG project," Shiraishi said.

The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane running along the Russian Arctic coast, allowing passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Northern coast of Siberia. In June 2015, Russia announced development plans for the Northern Sea Route for the period 2015-2030.

The Yamal LNG project is one of the largest industrial undertakings in the Russian Arctic, expected to have an annual capacity of 16.5 million metric tons of gas. The first Yamal LNG plant is scheduled to become operational in 2017.

In recent years, the Japanese authorities have been paying attention to the Arctic. In 2009, Japan officially submitted an application for Permanent Observer status to the Arctic Council, of which Russia is a member. Later, Japan started to engage more deeply in international policy on the Arctic, at both a ministerial level and at the level of research organizations.

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