The Japanese government is ready to press forward on a joint urban-development proposal for Russia’s Far East city of Vladivostok as part of the two countries' economic partnership effort.
The Nikkei Asian Review on February 4 reported the plan includes the introduction of a smart traffic-signal system developed by Japan that automatically adjusts signal times based on traffic volume.
It also is proposing a new technology to repair aging sewer pipes without the need for excavation work.
Nikkei reported that Tokyo is hoping the joint effort for the Far East city will help improve ties and smooth the way toward a solution to a dispute over a chain of islands that Tokyo calls the Northern Territories and Moscow calls the Southern Kuriles.
Although Russian-held, Japan still claims the islands, which the Soviet Union seized in the closing days of World War II.
Russia President Vladimir Putin has expressed hopes that, with major development work, Vladivostok can be made into the leading port in the Far East. Development is also under way to make it an economic and tourist hub and includes a major casino project.
Tokyo has put together a package of proposals for the development of Vladivostok using Japanese technologies and other resources ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's scheduled visit to Russia in May.
Putin and Abe agreed in principle to creating a redevelopment plan for the city when the two leaders met in December 2016.
The Japanese proposal includes a plan to establish tourism facilities and redevelop areas near train stations in Vladivostok.
Japanese-style garbage-incineration plants, which lessen the impact on the environment, are also to be proposed, Nikkei reported.
Vladivostok, which is nearly 9,000 kilometers from Moscow, has a population of just over 600,000. International flights connect the city to South Korea, Japan, China, North Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
With reporting by Nikkei and TASS