Indeed, Japan is a very important strategic partner for Russia. For decades, Moscow has been strengthening mutually beneficial good-neighborly relations, working closely with Tokyo in trade, economic, political and humanitarian fields.
In December 2016, an agreement was reached on joint economic activities in the southern Kurils during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan at the Russian-Japanese summit. One of the main obstacles to the implementation of this agreement is the issue of the legal status of future projects.
Initially, the Japanese side insisted that any economic activity on the islands sponsored by Japanese investors should fall under Japanese legal jurisdiction.
This view of the issue clearly did not suit Moscow. Therefore, the Russian side intends to conduct joint economic activity, referring only to the Russian legal framework. The main argument to which Moscow appeals, emphasizes that cooperation will be carried out in the Russian territory and, accordingly, the laws on it are only Russian. Therefore, all legal nuances will be agreed only after the necessary technical and economic justification for each project is provided. In addition, one of the mandatory conditions for Russian-Japanese cooperation is the fact that any format of future joint projects will not be used by either side as an argument in the discussion of the peace treaty.
The first joint projects were determined following the results of the second visit of the Japanese delegation to the Kuril Islands in October 2017. The greatest interest of the Japanese side was caused by such industries as energy, tourism, agriculture, environmental protection, breeding of marine resources.
In November 2017, Tokyo proposed to consider the possibility of growing strawberries in greenhouses in the southern Kurils. Japan intends to build greenhouses and provide technology for growing berries to do this.
At present, the Japanese side is showing increasing interest in joint activities in the Kuril Islands, especially since the Russian ready to meet wishes of Tokyo, providing a preferential tax regime and administrative support within the framework of the territory of advanced development regime. This condition allows foreign investors along with Russian entrepreneurs to implement their projects.