TOKYO — Japan will provide its advanced technologies to help Russia boost industrial productivity and make better medical services available as part of broader economic cooperation, officials from the two countries agreed Thursday.
Japan hopes the cooperation will “yield tangible results that Russian people can benefit from,” Japan’s Economy and Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said after the meeting.
Russian Minister of Economic Development Maksim Oreshkin said he learned valuable lessons about improving productivity from Japan, adding that he hoped to keep up collaboration in that field.
Attendees at the bilateral task force meeting also included Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who expressed optimism for deeper collaboration in the energy field.
Proposed measures on the table include using digital technology to offer Japanese-style health checkups and easing congestion with Japanese traffic light systems.
Both sides will work together to develop specific projects so that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin can announce specific plans when they meet in May in St. Petersburg.
Those projects are part of an eight-point cooperation plan that Abe proposed to Putin at a May 2016 summit in the Russian city of Sochi. The plan touches on medicine, urban development, sports and cultural exchanges and energy.
On Wednesday, the Russian visitors toured Toyota Motor and Mitsubishi Electric plants in Aichi Prefecture. Japanese companies’ advancement in Russia would be “an important point in future economic exchange,” Oreshkin said.
Abe’s aim is to deepen mutual trust through economic cooperation. He believes that would eventually lead to concessions from Russia on their dispute over the southernmost Kuril Islands, northeast of the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
In Japan’s view, if Putin wins reelection in March, it would give Russia a stable political base and improve the environment for negotiating over the islands.