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Keidanren mission to Russia aims to work with gov’t for economic cooperation

  • June 8, 2016
  • , Asahi , p. 5
  • Translation

Members of the Japan Business Federation [Keidanren]’s Japan-Russia Business Cooperation Committee (chair: Teruo Asada, chairman of Marubeni Corporation) will visit Moscow from June 8 to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and other key government officials. Japan proposed economic cooperation at the Japan-Russia summit meeting in May, and a main issue in this regard is the entry of large companies into Russia.


The Japan-Russia Business Cooperation Committee aims to expand bilateral economic exchange, and this is the committee’s first visit to Russia since September 2011. Executives of about ten large companies, including trading companies and manufacturers, will accompany the delegation.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin agreed last month “to promote negotiations based on a new approach” with an eye on concluding a peace treaty. The prime minister laid out an eight-point plan outlining how Japan could cooperate in developing the Russian Far East, something in which Russia has shown great interest. At a press conference held on May 9, Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara indicated that Keidanren would engage in bilateral economic cooperation, saying, “We will work in concert with the government’s initiatives.”


Interview: “Promote new projects for Russian Far East development through public-private and private-private cooperation”


The Asahi Shimbun talked with Teruo Asada, chair of Keidanren’s Japan-Russia Business Cooperation Committee and chairman of Marubeni Corporation, about the significance and aims of the visit to Russia. (Interviewer: Go Kobayashi)


“We would like to present concrete ways to put into practice the eight-point cooperation plan that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed to President Putin. In particular, Russia has great needs in the Russian Far East, and Japan can provide cooperation in facilities for ports, distribution, as well as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. There also should be demand in such fields as water supply and sewerage development, waste processing, new energy, and petrochemistry. It is crucial that we promote new projects through public-private and private-private cooperation.


“At our meetings with Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Galushka, and others, we will ask for increased transparency in administrative procedures that hinder Japanese companies’ entry into Russia.


“It is hard for foreign companies to enter Russia as countries have placed sanctions on the country due to the Ukraine issue. Prime Minister Abe plans to attend the Eastern Economic Forum, which will be held in Russian Far East city of Vladivostok in September, and hopes that new project contracts can be formed. We aim to do the groundwork for this during our trip.


“If the Northern Territories issue were resolved, the Japanese business committee would like to further advance bilateral economic exchange. I think there would be positives for the negotiation of a peace treaty if economic exchange were enhanced. This would lead to the “new approach” that Prime Minister Abe talked about.”

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