/ Go to the photo bankThe flare system at Russia’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant (the Sakhalin II project), built by Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. in the village of Prigorodnoye in southern Sakhalin. The island has been turned into a major source of energy in Russia’s Far East. / Go to the photo bankTOKYO (Sputnik) – Japan will protest any discrimination against the Mitsui and Mitsubishi holding companies to protect their investment in Russia’s Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project, a senior official told the Yomiuri Shimbun daily.”Contracts with Japanese enterprises must be honored,” the unnamed high-ranking official in the Japanese Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying in an article published on Saturday.Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday that allows Russia to create a new project operator that will take charge of Sakhalin-2 from Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. Russia’s Gazprom will keep a majority stake of 50% plus one share. Shell has already promised to sell its 27.5% stake, while Mitsui and Mitsubishi reportedly plan to hold on to their 12.5% and 10% stakes respectively.Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said on Friday that the government was studying the contents of the decree. He told a briefing that interests of Japanese companies in the project in Russia’s far east should be respected. Sakhalin-2 accounts for 9% of Japan’s LNG imports.