Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe watch a demonstration during their visit at Kodokan judo hall in Tokyo, Japan, December 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool
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Russia and Japan agreed Friday to hold talks on joint economic development of four islands at the center of a decades-old territorial dispute between the countries.Abe, eager for progress on the territorial issue, invited Putin even though Japan and the other G-7 nations still have sanctions on Russia.Russia wants to attract Japanese investment, and Japan hopes that stronger ties through joint economic projects will help resolve the thorny territorial issue over time.Putin said Japanese involvement will be crucial to development of Russia's far east. After the news conference, Abe and Putin spoke at a Japan-Russia business forum and visited a judo center before Putin's departure.
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