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Japanese companies will be involved in the construction of artificial islands in
Japanese companies will be involved in the construction of artificial islands in the Black Sea off the coast of Sochi, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the head of the Russian-Japanese business council said on Friday.

"We know only too well the problems the [United Arab] Emirates encountered when building artificial islands, so Japan's participation and their technology is particularly interesting to Russia," which lacks the expertise to construct artificial islands in areas with high seismic activity, Aslan Atabiyev told a news conference in Tokyo.

Atabiyev said under the current project over 10 islands for housing Olympic facilities will be built near Sochi.

Fumio Kyuma, Japan's former defense minister, who now heads the country's committee for the promotion of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, said he hoped the assistance would have a favorable effect on bilateral relations with Russia.

"We will try to build islands that are of the same standard as those in Dubai," Kyuma said.

A series of artificial islands, called the Palm Islands, being built in Dubai, are the world's largest land reclamation projects. Nakheel Properties, a property developer in the United Arab Emirates, hired the Dutch dredging and marine contractor Van Oord, one of the world's specialists in land reclamation, to build the islands.

Relations between Russia and Japan have been strained since the two countries have contested the ownership of the Kuril Islands for over 60 years, a dispute that has kept the two countries from signing a formal peace treaty after World War II.

The Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi was announced as host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics at a ceremony in Guatemala on July 5, 2007.


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