Russia is continuing with development projects in the Territories between the northern tip of Japan and Eastern Russia, amid a territorial dispute with Japan, Asahi Shimbun reports.

Moscow has been developing social infrastructure on what it calls the Southern Kuril islands, off Hokkaido. The developments include having brought almost 1,500 foreign workers, mainly from South and North Korea for the construction of roads, airports and harbor facilities. About 1,000 foreign workers are currently on Kunashiri island, while 500 workers and technicians are stationed in Etorofu island, according to local government sources. Foreign workers are also working on Shikotan island.

Wages for foreigners are far cheaper than for native Russians, who are given extra pay for working in isolated locations under Russian law. Foreign workers live on “camps” – old cargo containers converted into living quarters – in the islands.

The Northern Territories legally belong to Japan. Japan opposed to having foreigners engage in economic activity on the Northern Territories but has yet to give a statement regarding the construction developments.