1 FRONTIER'S "INVEST MONGOLIA TOKYO 2018" WWW.MONGOLIANBUSINESSDATABASE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      2 U.S.-CHINA TRADE TUSSLE IS CREATING WINNERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      3 YUSAKU MAEZAWA: THE JAPANESE BILLIONAIRE WHO WANTS TO FLY TO THE MOON WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      4 MONGOLIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVES CARDANO BLOCKCHAIN FOUNDER WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      5 ERDENE ANNOUNCES RESOURCE ESTIMATE FOR THE HIGH-GRADE KHUNDII GOLD PROJECT WWW.GLOBENEWSWIRE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      6 RUSSIAN GIANT COPPER PROJECT IN TALKS TO RAISE $1.25B WWW.REUTERS.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      7 MONGOLIA GRADUALLY WITNESSING PROGRESS IN TOURISM WWW.TRAVELANDTOURWORLD.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      8 CHINA, MONGOLIA, RUSSIA PUSH FOR ‘ECONOMIC CORRIDOR’ WWW.RUSSIABUSINESSTODAY.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      9 EXPERTS FROM CHINA, MONGOLIA, RUSSIA TALK ON CONSTRUCTION OF ECONOMIC CORRIDOR WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      10 PM U.KHURELSUKH PAYING AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/18      ШЕНГЕНИЙ БОГИНО ХУГАЦААНЫ ВИЗИЙН МЭДҮҮЛГИЙГ УЛААНБААТАР ХОТОД АВНА WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     2018 ЭХНИЙ 7 САРД МОНГОЛЧУУД ГАДААД РУУ ЭМЧИЛГЭЭНД ЯВАХДАА 19.5 САЯ АМ.ДОЛЛАР ЗАРЦУУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ӨНӨӨДӨР ТӨВ ТАЛБАЙД 4000 АЖЛЫН БАЙРАНД БҮРТГЭНЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ГАРААНЫ БИЗНЕСИЙН ШАЛГАРСАН ТӨСӨЛД 10,0 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН ДЭМЖЛЭГ ҮЗҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     WORLD ECONOMICS: МОНГОЛЫН АЖИЛ ЭРХЛЭЛТИЙН ТҮВШИН СҮҮЛИЙН 5 ЖИЛИЙН ДЭЭД ТҮВШИНД ХҮРЛЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ERD: "ХӨНДИЙ" АЛТНЫ ТӨСЛИЙН ТОГТООГДСОН НӨӨЦ 751 МЯНГАН УНЦ АЛТ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ХЯТАДЫН $200 ТЭРБУМЫН ИМПОРТОД ТАРИФ ТОГТООВ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ШИВЭЭХҮРЭН БООМТООР ХОНОГТ 60-80 МЯНГАН ТОНН НҮҮРС ЭКСПОРТОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     БНХАУ-ЫН 200 ТЭРБУМ АМ.ДОЛЛАРЫН ИМПОРТОД 10 ХУВИЙН ТАРИФ НОГДУУЛАХ ШИЙДВЭР ИРЭХ 7 ХОНОГООС ХЭРЭГЖИНЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18     ӨВӨЛ ЦАХИЛГААН СААТВАЛ ХОТ ДӨРВӨН ЦАГИЙН ДОТОР Л ХӨЛДӨНӨ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Mongolia Parliament Votes to Nationalize Erdenet Copper Mine www.bloomberg.com

Mongolia’s parliament approved a resolution to nationalize copper, gold and iron-ore assets in the country following a probe that found a $400 million transaction with a closely held company was illegal.

Parliament’s resolution invalidates a previous government decision that had authorized the sale of 49 percent stakes in both Erdenet Mining Corp. and Mongolrostsvetmet LLC to Mongolian Copper Corp. The resolution was approved by a vote of 49 in favor to 12 against, according to a broadcast carried on Bloomberg TV Mongolia.

Former Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed announced the sales on the eve of elections in June, declaring the purchases from Russia’s state-controlled Rostec a victory for a country that wanted to put greater control of its natural resources in the hands of Mongolians. Still, Saikhanbileg’s Democratic Party lost the election to the Mongolian People’s Party.

The purchases of the 49 percent holdings in the two mining stakes by Mongolian Copper used illegal loans and violated the constitution, according to the probe conducted by a parliamentary working group. Trade & Development Bank of Mongolia LLC spearheaded financing for the deal.

“It appears that there were various legal, governance and transparency issues surrounding the transaction,’’ Dale Choi, head of Mongolia Metals & Mining, said in an e-mail. “Moreover, it seems that public funding was used for private buyout and the government of Mongolia issued international bonds at an expensive 11 percent to supply FX for the transaction. While the privatization is desirable, the way it was done appears questionable and the rule of law should be applied.’’
TDBM Chief Executive Officer Orkhon Onon said the loans weren’t illegal and didn’t violate banking regulations, according to an e-mailed reply to queries Jan. 30.

The Erdenet Mining and Mongolrostsvetmet joint ventures were set up by the former Soviet Union and Mongolia in the 1970s. Erdenet is focused on copper, while Mongolrostsvetmet mines metals, including gold and iron ore.

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Panama charges two Mossack Fonseca partners over Brazil link www.bbc.com


The arrests are linked to corruption and bribery allegations involving Brazil's construction giant, Odebrecht.
The two men, Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack, were detained after two days of questioning.
The Mossack Fonseca partners now face charges of money-laundering.
There is information which "allegedly identifies the Panamanian firm as a criminal organisation that is dedicated to hiding assets or money from suspicious origins," said Panama's Attorney General Kenia Porcell, announcing the arrests.
The pair will be held in detention because they are considered a flight risk.
A defence lawyer for the two men described the evidence against them as "weak".
Odebrecht - Latin America's largest construction firm - has admitted to paying $1bn in bribes to obtain in contracts in 12 different countries.
In last April's "Panama Papers" leaks, more than 11 million documents from Mossack Fonseca were released.
They showed how some wealthy people were using offshore firms to evade tax and avoid sanctions.
Mossack Fonseca denied wrongdoing in the case and said it was the victim of a computer hack. It also maintained that the information leaked was being misrepresented.
Mr Fonseca had served as a minister in Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela's government but stepped aside earlier in 2016 after separate allegations linked his law firm to the corruption scandal engulfing the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras.
 
 
 
 
 
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Germany reclaims gold hidden from Soviets in New York vaults www.cnn.com

Germany's gold has come home.
The country's central bank has completed a transfer of gold bars worth $13 billion from New York to Frankfurt, part of a plan to repatriate roughly half the reserves it keeps abroad.
Germany has been bringing gold home from New York and Paris since 2013. So far, 642 tons has been transferred.

With the latest transfer, the central bank has shifted a total of 330 tons of gold that had been stored with the New York Federal Reserve, deep in a subterranean vault that rests on the bedrock of Manhattan Island. The bank won't say how it moves the gold.
The plan will be completed when a final 100 tons is returned from Paris.
The central bank says it is bringing the gold home to help build public "trust and confidence."
But it's also a recognition that times have changed: Germans are no longer worried about preventing their gold reserves from falling under Soviet control -- a real fear during the Cold War.
And the central bank no longer needs to keep gold in Paris as a protective measure that would allow it to quickly exchange international currency in an emergency. Both countries use the euro.
Germany gold bar 
In the wake of World War II, Germany gradually rebuilt its decimated gold reserves. As its economy strengthened, it converted the U.S. dollars that paid for its exports to gold and stored the proceeds in foreign vaults.
Fears of Soviet invasion kept the reserves abroad even after the value of the dollar was decoupled from the price of gold.

In recent years, rumors and conspiracy theories have circulated in Germany about its foreign gold reserves. Some fringe observers questioned whether they had been lost or otherwise compromised.
The issue eventually spilled over into mainstream politics, and the German Federal Court of Auditors asked for an inspection of foreign gold reserves in 2012.

The central bank mounted a defense, saying it received annual updates from foreign central banks where the gold was being stored. It said that the "integrity, reputation and security of these foreign depositories are beyond reproach."
The following year, however, the central bank announced that it would bring half its reserves home to Frankfurt.
Germany will store its remaining reserves in London and New York, where they could be quickly exchanged for pounds or dollars in an economic emergency.

 
 
 
 
 
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Abe, Trump release joint statement www.nhk.co.jp

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump have released a joint statement on security and economy after their first summit.

The 2 leaders met at the White House on Friday.

The statement calls the Japan-US alliance the cornerstone of peace, prosperity, and freedom in the Asia-Pacific region.

It refers to an "unwavering" US commitment to defend Japan through the full range of both nuclear and conventional capabilities of the US military.

The United States says it will strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region amid an increasingly difficult security environment, while Japan will assume larger roles and responsibilities in the alliance.

The statement says Abe and Trump instructed their foreign and defense ministers to hold early talks on ways to further strengthen the alliance. This includes a review of the 2 countries' roles, missions, and capabilities.

The 2 leaders affirmed that Article 5 of the bilateral security treaty covers Japan's Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and that they oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan's administration of these islands. China and Taiwan claim the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory.

The leaders noted the importance of maintaining a maritime order based on international law, and said they oppose any attempt to assert maritime claims through intimidation, coercion, or force.

Without naming China, they called on "countries concerned" to avoid actions that would escalate tensions in the South China Sea, including the militarization of outposts.

Abe and Trump affirmed that the 2 countries are committed to a plan to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within Okinawa. The base is currently located in a densely populated part of the prefecture. The leaders agreed that the relocation plan is the only solution that avoids the continued use of the facility.

And they urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from taking any further provocative actions. They also affirmed the importance of seeking an early resolution of the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals.

On the economy, the statement says Trump and Abe are committed to using the 3-pronged approach of fiscal, monetary, and structural policies to strengthen domestic and global economic demand.

It says they remain fully committed to strengthening bilateral and regional economic relationships based on rules for free and fair trade.

They say this includes setting high trade and investment standards, reducing market barriers, and enhancing opportunities for economic and job growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 2 countries reaffirmed the importance of deepening their trade and investment relations and of their continued efforts in promoting trade and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Abe and Trump pledged to explore how best to accomplish these shared objectives, noting Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.

They said this includes Japan and the United States holding discussions on a bilateral framework, and Japan continuing to advance existing regional initiatives.

The leaders also decided to launch economic dialogue between the 2 countries to discuss cooperation across various sectors that will bring mutual economic benefits.

The statement says Abe invited Trump for an official visit to Japan this year and welcomed an early visit by Vice President Mike Pence to Tokyo. It says President Trump accepted these invitations.

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Ford to invest $1 billion in autonomous vehicle tech firm Argo AI www.reuters.com

Ford Motor Co plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in tech startup Argo AI to help the Detroit automaker reach its goal of producing a self-driving vehicle for commercial ride sharing fleets by 2021, the companies announced on Friday.

The investment in Pittsburg-based Argo AI, founded by former executives on self-driving teams at Google and Uber, will make Ford the company's largest shareholder.

Ford Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said the investment is in line with previous announcements on planned capital expenditures.

Argo AI, which focuses on artificial intelligence and robotics, will help build what Ford calls its "virtual driver system" at the heart of the fully autonomous car Ford said last year it would develop by 2021.

"With Argo AI’s agility and Ford's scale we're combining the benefits of a technology start up with the experience and discipline we have at Ford," Fields said at a press conference.

Once the technology is fully developed for Ford, it could be licensed to other companies, executives said.

While Ford will retain a majority of the start-up's equity, the potential for an equity stake as Argo AI hires 200 more employees will be an advantage in recruiting talent, executives said.

"They have the opportunity to run it pretty independently with a board, but because it is a separate company or subsidiary, it has the opportunity to go out and recruit with competitive compensation packages and equity," Fields said.

Until now, Ford's investments in future transportation technology have been relatively modest, compared with those of General Motors Co and others. One of Ford’s largest such investments in the past year was $75 million to buy a minority stake in Velodyne, a manufacturer of laser-based lidar sensing systems for self-driving cars.

Rival GM made a billion-dollar bet a year ago with its acquisition of Silicon Valley self-driving startup Cruise Automation. GM also invested $500 million to buy a 9-percent stake in San Francisco-based ride services firm Lyft, a competitor to Uber.

(Additional reporting by Nick Carey and Paul Lienert; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)

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Chinese state media says China can help Mongolia under one condition www.theubpost.mn

China has the capacity to lift Mongolia out of its current crisis and improve its economy under the condition that Mongolia intensifies its involvement in the One Belt One Road Initiative, says the Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times.

The Global Times is largely thought of as the informal voice of the Chinese government internationally. The newspaper is widely known to release controversial and critical articles that are believed to voice the positions of the Chinese Communist Party through an alternative channel.

The newspaper has been critical of Mongolia in the past, especially surrounding the recent Dalai Lama visit. This time, however, the newspaper proposed that enhancing economic cooperation with China could help Mongolia with its “financial impasse and reverse its slow growth.”

The article reminded readers about the 580 million USD bond debt due in March and mentioned about the charity fund established for citizens to donate money to help revive the economy. The bond in question was issued by the Development Bank of Mongolia in March 2012, with a tenor of five years and a coupon of 5.75 percent. The bond will mature on March 21.

The government is currently negotiating a bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and China amid a severe economic crisis in the country, which has dragged down GDP from double-digit growth a few years ago to close to zero.

The Global Times underlined, “Experts said China, Mongolia’s largest trading partner, can play a positive role in helping the crisis-stricken country.

“As of the end of September 2016, Mongolia’s overall debt stood at 23.78 billion USD, up 10 percent from a year earlier and exceeding 210 percent of its GDP, according to a statement posted on January 25 on the website of the economic and commercial counselor’s office of the Chinese Embassy in Mongolia. The statement cited data from Mongolia’s statistical authority and the central bank in the country.”

The article highlighted that a slump in commodity prices, coupled with natural disasters in 2016, caused Mongolia’s GDP growth in 2016 to drop to 1.6 percent.

Sun Huijun, an expert on relationships among China, Russia and Central Asian countries, told the Global Times on Sunday that as China’s neighbor is experiencing hardships, China can prove to be “a friend in need.”

“China can help Mongolia secure low-interest loans from multilateral institutions, or arrange loans after inter-governmental negotiations,” Sun said.

Li Xing, director of the Eurasian Studies Center with the Beijing Normal University, said that China has the capacity to lift Mongolia out of the current crisis and improve its economy, but there is a condition.

“Under China’s proposed One Belt and One Road initiative, there is an economic corridor starting from China, running through Mongolia and onward to Russia. This is a plan drawn up by the Chinese government, and much can be done under the framework,” Li said.

The One Belt and One Road initiative has been at the forefront of Chinese foreign policy as the project which was proposed by President Xi Jinping.

The initiative has many plans involving infrastructure and connectivity, and it can bring lots of money to Mongolia, Li told the Global Times on Sunday.

Sun said prosperous neighbors and partners also suit China’s ambitions to push its One Belt and One Road initiative, against the backdrop of likely uncertainties in world trade brought up by the Trump administration.

“Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are especially important to the northern route of the Silk Road initiative,” noted Sun.

Li said that 580 million USD liquidity is within easy reach for China, “but China has its principles that are non-negotiable.” Li noted that the visit by the Dalai Lama to Mongolia last year hurt bilateral relations.

Analysts have noted that this might be the Chinese government’s way of expressing its openness to helping the Mongolian economy revive, more specifically helping pay off its bond obligations.

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Dried Milk production equipment to be installed in rural areas www.mongolia.gogo.mn

 
With an aim to provide healthy and safe food products to the public and to ensure the regular distribution of raw materials to manufacturers, the Government of Mongolia has launched the first “Meat and Milk” campaign throughout the country on January 1.
“MDM” LLC is supporting the campaign, which is continuing under “Healthy food-Healthy Mongolian” slogan. On February 9, the company organized workshop-discussion to introduce its product – small-sized dry milk production equipment to manufacturers, farmers, and partners, representatives of professional associations and experts of academic research organizations.
Prime Minister J.Erdenebat attended the opening of the event to get acquainted with the production equipment. The Japanese-made production equipment is capable of drying 240-600 liters of milk in a 8-hour work day depending on the milk supply from local entities.
“Although Mongolia has over 60 million of livestock animals, dried milk is imported from overseas. By installing the production equipment in rural areas, the number of customers of the product will increase. Further, the market price of dried milk will be stabilized and herders will have regular income. After fully supplying the domestic demand, dried milk products should be exported to abroad. We all should aim to manufacture what Mongolians are always capable to do” said PM J.Erdenebat.
By introducing the equipment into use between 2017 and 2025, it is estimated number of 6-8 thousand vacancies will be available.
Apart from supply for domestic demands, Mongolia is capable of producing 400 million liters milk per year. However, due to lack of proper infrastructure to process raw materials, outdated production equipment and low circulation assets, the dairy industries are only utilizing some 10 percent of their total capacity. Mongolia imports around 400 tons of dried milks from abroad every year, which turns into 35 thousand tons of liquid milk.
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Boeing's $14 billion Singapore Air order does not fill 777, 787 gap: CEO www.reuters.com

 
Boeing Co (BA.N) must sell more 777 and 787 jetliners to keep production plans on track, despite a $13.8 billion order that landed earlier on Thursday, its chief executive said.
The order from high-profile customer Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) is a strong endorsement of both planes, and could lift sales in a sluggish market if other carriers follow Singapore Air's lead, analysts said.
But the win over rival Airbus (AIR.PA) did not lessen two big risks Boeing faces, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said on Thursday at a conference in New York hosted by Cowen and Co.
Sales of Boeing's highly profitable 777s have slowed so much that Boeing is cutting production 40 percent this year to cope as it begins switching to the successor 777X model that Singapore Airlines ordered.
"When I take a look at risk areas, filling out the 777 bridge is the area that we're focused on," Muilenburg said, referring to the production spanning the two models.
Boeing also must sell more 787s so it can proceed with plans to lift output to 14 planes a month from 12 in the next few years, Muilenburg said.
That increase has looked iffy and some investors have worried Boeing would abandon it. Muilenburg said Boeing still plans to lift 787 output and currently does not envision a scenario that would require cutting 787 output below 12 a month.
Boeing shares were up 0.4 percent at $164.42 in afternoon trading.
The Singapore Airlines order is a boost for the 787 assembly line, but it does not help with slow 777 sales, since the order is for the newer 777X model.
Muilenburg said the airplane market is still "very healthy" with passenger traffic growing 5 percent to 6 percent a year, well ahead of GDP rates.
But airlines have deferred delivery of about 2 percent of Boeing's backlog, double the figure Muilenburg cited in July, though well below historical averages.
Boeing has already cut 777 output to 7 planes a month from 8.3, and will trim it to 5 a month in August. Deliveries - which generate the bulk of airline payments - will actually fall to about 3.5 a month as Boeing builds 777X test planes in the next few years, he said.
Even with those reductions, Boeing has to sell a few more 777s to fill out production this year and has 10 percent of production unsold in 2018 and 2019. Those figures include the planned sale of 80 planes to Iran, including 15 Boeing 777s, Muilenburg said.
Muilenburg voiced confidence that the Iran sale would go through despite the potential political and bureaucratic hurdles.
"These are airplanes that support American manufacturing jobs," he said. "The economic value to the U.S. is real."
He also saw prospects for more U.S. defense sales, noting "re-emerging strength" in the defense budget. And, he said Boeing's KC-46 aerial tanker for the U.S. Air Force, which has incurred about $2.4 billion in cost overruns, is expected to begin generating positive cash flow next year.
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Twitter shares dive as losses widen www.bbc.com

 
Shares in Twitter have ended the day more than 12% lower after the company reported that its fourth-quarter losses had nearly doubled.
The social networking service reported a loss of $167m (£133m) in the final three months of 2016, as against $90m in the same period a year earlier.
There were 319 million active users, 4% up on a year earlier, but revenue from ads fell slightly to $638m.
Donald Trump's use of Twitter did little to boost users or add income.
Fourth-quarter revenues were $717m, 1% up on last year's $710m.
Revenues and user numbers both fell short of analysts' expectations.
It was the company's slowest quarterly revenue growth since it became a publicly listed company in November 2013.
Some analysts had expected new US President Donald Trump's widely publicised use of Twitter would give the service a financial boost.
But during a conference call, chief operating officer Anthony Noto dismissed the idea that the "Trump effect" had been a key factor in user growth.
He said that while Mr Trump had shown "the power of Twitter" and broadened awareness of the service, it was hard for "an event or a single person" to make such a difference.
Analysis: Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent
These were supposed to be the results that showed Twitter resurgent after a year of disappointment. The fact that it had been the prime social networking battleground during the US election and that every tweet from the new president garnered worldwide attention would have brought new users - and advertisers - flocking in.
That was the theory. In fact, the figures showed the slowest growth in quarterly revenue in the company's short history and a very modest increase in user numbers. The company has put on a brave face, focusing on the growth in daily rather than monthly active users.
It also says that revenue growth is lagging user growth - but investors have grown impatient for evidence that Twitter has found a sustainable business model.
Donald Trump's tweets - and the reactions they provoke - may have become essential viewing for journalists and the markets. Whether they make Twitter a great destination for advertisers is a different matter.
'Toughest challenge'
Despite the increased losses, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said 2016 had been "a transformative year" for the service.
"We reset and focused on why people use Twitter: it's the fastest way to see what's happening and what everyone's talking about," he said.
"We overcame the toughest challenge for any consumer service at scale by reversing declining audience trends and re-accelerating usage."
He said daily active usage had risen for the third consecutive quarter and the upward trend was set to continue.
"While revenue growth continues to lag audience growth, we are applying the same focused approach that drove audience growth to our revenue product portfolio, focusing on our strengths and the real-time nature of our service.
"This will take time, but we're moving fast to show results."
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Official: Japan, Russia can agree on biz projects www3.nhk.or.jp

 
A senior official of Russia's Foreign Ministry has indicated that the country and Japan will agree on project plans for joint economic activities on Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Japan last December. They agreed that the 2 countries will create a special system to implement joint economic activities on the islands in a way that will not violate Japanese or Russian laws.
Russia controls the islands. Japan claims them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.
The 2 countries are scheduled to hold their first official meeting on the matter in Tokyo next month.
A Russian Foreign Ministry official in charge of diplomacy with Japan, Lyudmila Vorobyeva, held an interview with a Russian state-run news agency on Thursday.
Vorobyeva disclosed that her ministry is preparing business proposals to be presented to the Japanese side at the meeting. She said they cover such fields as aquaculture, seafood processing, geothermal power generation, and tourism.
Vorobyeva said the Russian side plans to agree on business plans that are likely to be realized in the near future.
During the interview, she also referred to the possible resumption of foreign and defense ministerial talks between the 2 countries. Vorobyeva said the meetings will likely occur in the first half of this year.
Such talks took place for the first time in Tokyo in 2013. But they have been suspended since Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014.
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