Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko and Russian Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka agreed late on Friday to jointly work on projects in Russia’s far eastern regions.

Russia’s far eastern regions lag behind in development and Moscow is looking to use Japanese companies to upgrade infrastructure in that area.

For its part, Tokyo is hoping that its joint projects and closer economic cooperation with Moscow will ease discussion on territorial disputes the two countries have had since the end of World War II.

A dispute over four islands in the East China Sea has kept Japan and Russia from signing a peace treaty and formally ending their conflict in World War II.

Russian and Japanese economy and energy ministers had earlier agreed to focus on 30 items of cooperation over the coming month ahead of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s December summit.

Seko had earlier met with Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev and other officals in Moscow, and both sides agreed to seek concrete progress before Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Japan next month.

The projects will span areas such as oil and gas field development, wind power generation and cooperation in nuclear reactor decommissioning.

They also agreed to finalize plans for government-led projects such as improving the urban environment in the southwestern city of Voronezh and training of Russian engineers by November 18 , the Nikkei reported.