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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