AP News

Russia, Japan agree to move ahead on LNG project

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) — Russia and Japan are moving ahead on a liquefied natural gas project, putting energy cooperation ahead of a longstanding territorial dispute.

Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom says Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda oversaw the signing of a memorandum with Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy on Saturday, on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim summit.

Demand for LNG in Japan, the world's largest importer, has soared with the closures of most of its nuclear power plants following last year's earthquake and tsunami disasters. Russia is keen to increase sales of LNG in the Far East, diversifying away from its traditional markets in Europe.

Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, said Japan was considered a "top priority" for its LNG sales.

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