In accordance with the plan of economic cooperation of eight items, developed during the Russian-Japanese summit on December 16, has been canceled large-scale projects such as extending the TRANS-Siberian railway to Hokkaido and the construction of a gas pipeline from Sakhalin. Initially, there were various obstacles and concerns associated with large financial guarantees and security, however, the stagnation in the territorial negotiations that ended in nothing, also contributed to the deterioration of the situation. Fantastic designs has remained a dream.
“The Russian side shows great enthusiasm.” A source in the trading community did not hide his excitement when this fall occurred economic cooperation projects.
During the may meeting in Sochi, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe proposed to President Putin’s “new approach” to in the future to resolve the problem of “Northern territories”. Due to the fact that economic cooperation has been considered separately from the territorial negotiations, the Russian side suddenly began to show great interest.
Russia has a chance to squeeze out of Japan as much as possible. Not the fact that the Russian side thought that it did, but the Ministry of economic development of Russia proposed 50 projects, the Ministry of Far East development — 18 projects. The number of projects grew in his eyes.
The Japanese side said that during the visit to Russia of the Minister of economy of Japan, Hiroshige Seko (Seko Hiroshige) was chosen about 30 priority projects. However, in the end was signed a Protocol of intent for 80 projects, 68 private and government 12. The total amount of investments — about 300 billion yen.
Despite this feast with the participation of government and private business, most of these projects difficult to implement.
One of the largest projects — the extension of the TRANS-Siberian railway to Hokkaido. The costs will be enormous: it is necessary to build tunnels and bridges through La Perouse Strait, and to modernize railway lines in Hokkaido despite the fact that the company JR Hokkaido is considering to eliminate unprofitable lines.
Given the events of the Second world war, many experts are also concerned about security: in their view, Hokkaido Prefecture can be captured.
Despite this, commercial media welcomed the Russian-Japanese summit meeting. “Russian-Japanese joint business activity. The extension of the TRANS-Siberian railway to Hokkaido is of great interest. Thanks to him, Japan will get access in Eurasia”… In the end, this project was shelved, but no doubt about this could only dream of.
In this proposed liberal democratic party and komei party, the gas pipeline project from Sakhalin, which connects Hokkaido and Tohoku with Tokyo Bay, also would not be implemented.
The pipeline length of 1,500 kilometers. Construction spending is about 700 billion yen. This pipeline would link a major far Eastern gas fields with Japanese consumers. The Japanese side hopes on a stable and guaranteed supply of energy resources in the long term, however, due to possible protests from businesses who have invested large sums in creating the conditions for import of liquefied natural gas, this project never saw the light.
The project of the energy bridge, which will connect the grid of Hokkaido and Sakhalin, is also under wraps, but the hopes for its implementation still remain. According to Japanese authorities, an agreement was reached to continue the study on the basis of the absence of any obligations.
President Putin said that he supported the creation of an energy bridge, so it is not strange if it will be built as a presidential project.
Meanwhile, even if the link Sakhalin and Hokkaido grid, the flowing ability of the equipment line “Kitamoto”, connecting Honshu and Hokkaido is only 60 thousand kilowatts. Despite the fact that the return on this project will be possible only in the case of Sakhalin supply of cheap electricity in the capital region.
Thus, regardless of Russian-Japanese talks Tokyo Electric Power company undertook reforms, under which it is planned to conduct mergers and acquisitions with other large electric companies. If Tokyo Electric Power, under nationalization, will have control over the electricity grid of Eastern Japan, the probability of realization of the project of electricity supply from Sakhalin to Tokyo will increase.
However, if there is no progress on the problem of “Northern territories”, the Japanese will not approve large-scale investments. According to a government source, Japan could not fully devote themselves to economic cooperation, as the authorities can blame the fact that Moscow leads them by the nose.
Large-scale projects fall into a deep sleep, dreaming that the day will come when Russia will return to Japan’s “Northern territories”.