The scientific roundtable "Russian-Japanese Territorial Debate" opened in Vladivostok (the Primorye administrative centre on the Sea of Japan) on Friday. The roundtable is being held on board the Nadezhda frigate of the Far-Eastern State Marine University. Russian and Japanese orientalists, historians and geographers are participating in the roundtable. The scientists are attempting to give an objective appraisal of the existing problem on the basis of historical and juridical facts. The roundtable is some kind of a prologue to a major scientific and practical conference, "Far-Eastern Scientists on the Territorial Problems of the Region," scheduled for 2002.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land