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Russia, Japan See Progress On Pipeline, Not Disputed Islands


14 January 2005 -- Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said today during his official visit to Moscow that plans are going ahead for a planned crude-oil pipeline to Russia's Pacific coast.

Machimura met with Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko to discuss the pipeline that would run from the Russian town of Tayshet, in Siberia's Irkutsk region, to the Russian port of Perevoznaya on the Pacific coast.

Talks on the disputed four southernmost Kuril Islands, known by the Japanese as the Northern Territories, saw less progress.

Machimura said the positions of the two countries are far apart and he does not see any chance of a breakthrough anytime soon.

The dispute over the islands, which were seized by the Soviet Army in 1945, has prevented Moscow and Tokyo from signing a formal peace treaty at the end of World War II.

(ITAR-TASS/AP)
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