Japan tells U.S. of intention to keep stake in Sakhalin-2 gas project

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda responds to a reporter’s question on Friday after the “two-plus-two” meeting in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Japan has informed the United States of its intention to retain its stakes in the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East region, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said at a press conference Friday after the economic “two-plus-two” ministerial meeting in Washington.

Hagiuda said he explained to Washington that “If [our companies] withdraw, the rights would transfer to a third country and Russia would gain an enormous profit.”

Although the Group of Seven industrialized nations are trying to reduce their reliance on Russian energy, Hagiuda asked the United States for understanding of Japan’s position in the matter.