Japan attaches great importance to Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II projects. For that reason Tokyo began to provide financial support for the Japanese Sakhalin Sekiyu Gasu Kaihatsu (Sodeko) corporation participating in the projects, said Japan's Minister of Economy Takeo Hiranuma in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.
In August-September 2002, the Japanese State Bank for International Cooperation gave an $80 million credit to Sodeko, said the minister. In the last two months the Sekiyu Kodan state oil corporation provided a $10 million insurance of debt instruments. "From 1995 to the beginning of September 2002 Sekiyu Kodan lent $180 million in credit to Sodeko," said Hiranuma.
"In the interests of environmental protection and providing stability and safety of the world power engineering we find it necessary that the main energy consuming countries increase the natural gas share in their energy sources. In this regard the role of Russia as a leading natural gas supplier rises, including in the Far East," noted Hiranuma.
The minister stressed that the Japanese Government "pins high hopes on oil and gas field development projects in Sakhalin Island shelves (north of the extreme northern island of Hokkaido in the Japanese archipelago) and thinks highly of their importance, first of all from the point of view of providing sustained natural gas supplies to Japan and other countries in the Region."
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia