Japan looking to hook Hokkaido up with Trans-Siberian Railway

Japan is considering joining forces with Russia to  build an extension to the  Trans-Siberian railway to the islands of Sakhalin and Hokkaido, the Japanese newspaper  Sankei reported over the weekend, just days after a Russian logistics firm  pledged to raise $6.5bn to build a new  warm water port at the mouth of the Samarga River on the shores of the Sea of Japan.
Samarga Holdings’ plans for a new port also provide for the construction of a new rail corridor linking the new port to the Trans Siberian in order to increase traffic and ease of access between the Asia Pacific rim and Western Europe.
A new 236-mile  corridor would connect Port Samarga to Khabarovsk and the Trans-Siberian Railway, cutting 342 miles off the transit from Russia’s Pacific coast to the West. A state-of-the-art logistics center would be built at Rakitnoye in Khabarovsk’s Special Economic Zone to  coordinate traffic to and from Primorsky Territory.
The 80m-tonne capacity port  would handle container cargo being transported to and from Russia, China, Japan and Korea and ferry services may also be run from there to some of Russia’s more remote Far East communities at Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Magadan and on the Kuril Islands.
Japan, in the meantime, is hoping  that the rail extension will give a boost to tourism on  its northernmost island.The first stage of the project would be to  connect Sakhalin by means of either tunnels or bridges d to the mainland through the strait, and eventually  with the Japanese island of Hokkaido through La Perouse Strait.  

Source: ajot