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20

Japan, Russian Ministers Have Serious Talks

The two ministers are also expected to talk about Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization

Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa and Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko held talks Thursday in Tokyo on a pipeline project linking eastern Siberia and near Nakhodka in the Russian Far East to ship oil to Japan and other markets.

The two ministers are also expected to talk about Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization and Japanese automaker Toyota Corp's plan to build an automobile assembly plant on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Kyodo said.

Last December, Russia announced that it will build a 4,180-kilometer oil pipeline linking Taishet near Lake Baikal with Perevoznaya close to Nakhodka, via Skovorodino near the Russian-Chinese border, on a Japanese-proposed Sea of Japan route.

Russia is expected to decide on details of the construction project after May, Kyodo said. Japan has offered financial assistance for the project, which would make Japan the nearest overseas market for the Siberian oil.