A number Japanese companies and banks are considering participating in the financing and construction of the third stage of the Sakhalin 2 LNG project in Russia’s Far East, it has emerged, as Japan managed to steal the show at last weekend’s Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok by signing some 20 agreements worth more than $1.3 bn with their hosts.
The size and range of the project financing committed to by Tokyo is being interpreted as an attempt by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to redress Russia’s current leaning towards China and to break the 50-year impasse over the South Kuril islands.
“During the negotiations at the Eastern Economic Forum 2016, representatives of Japan … showed interest in the financing and construction of the third stage of the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant,” Energy Minister Alexander Novak told TASS. “In addition, they would also like to expand the supply of hydrocarbons from the Sakhalin projects,”
Gazprom later confirmed that it had been in discussions with representatives from Mitsui and Misubishi concerning their future involvement.
News of Japanese interest in the project topped off a good week for relations between the two countries in which the Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko agreed to draft a road map for future co-operation between the two countries which will include Japanese participation in the reconstruction of the international airport in Khabarov and will also cover construction of a Mazda Sollers car assembly plant in Vladivostok which was approved by the Russian government back in April.