Russia and Japan intend to extend their cooperation agreement on several points, including the fishing industry stocks, by another year after the 21st of May, 2002. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs department of press information disclosed this, in the course of Russian Japanese talks to reach terms on the agreement. The current document restricts fishing industry catches by Japanese fishing trawlers in Russian waters and in the area of the southern Kuril Islands. The sides, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated, confirmed the "crucial role of this document in forming an atmosphere of trust and cooperation between the Russian Federation and Japan," which, according to both Moscow and Tokyo, "is capable of promoting bilaterial relations in a constructive partnership." Both sides expressed their mutual satisfaction with the progress made in 2001 in implementing the agreement. The Russian delegation said that the department "pursued, in the course of the negotiations, mutually beneficial cooperation with Japan in the area of fisheries management in the southern Kuril Islands with due regard for Russian fishing interests in the Sakhalin region. The next consultations are due to take place in 2002.
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