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International relations

Japan eyes support for Russia LNG project amid territorial talks

Tokyo hopeful economic cooperation will lead to results but history suggests otherwise

Novatek expects an Arctic project to begin producing 20 million tons of LNG annually around 2023. (Photo by Tomoyo Ogawa)

TOKYO -- Novatek, a leading gas company in Russia, has asked major Japanese trading houses Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. to invest in an Arctic liquefied natural gas project expected to cost 3 trillion yen to 4 trillion yen ($27.1 billion to $36.1 billion).

The Japanese government is considering financially backing the project. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thinks promoting economic cooperation with Russia will bolster Japan's negotiating position in talks with Moscow on the return of four Russian-held islands north of Hokkaido.

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