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Japanese companies respond to Tokyo's call for Russian deals

Government's economic cooperation plan fuels wide-ranging investment

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime MInister Shinzo Abe, fourth and fifth from left, attended a Russian-Japanese business dialogue Friday.

TOKYO -- Japan, Russia and companies from both countries signed 82 new agreements Friday for joint projects, expanding a relationship that had centered on energy to such fields as agriculture, medicine and infrastructure.

Mitsui & Co. inked memorandums of understanding with Russian farming conglomerate Ros Agro and drugmaker R-Pharm. Russia has been a key market for the Japanese trading house, which has stepped up investment in auto sales and home food delivery there.

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