12 July 2016

    Potential new directions for Japanese–Russian cooperation were discussed at a meeting between the Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Galushka and the President of the Board of Directors of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and the New Independent States (ROTOBO) and President of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Shigeru Murayama, according to a press release issued by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East.

    The number of Japanese participants at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) is up compared with last year. This is largely due to the fact that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has confirmed that he will attend the Forum, believes Shigeru Murayama. At the meeting, the two sides outlined the key issues that Russia and Japan plan to discuss at the EEF.

    Agriculture is one of the most promising areas of cooperation between the two countries. The creation of a Russian–Japanese agriculture fund will be discussed at the EEF.

    “Japan is a net importer of agricultural produce. We can provide them with produce which is high-quality, environmentally friendly and good value. This will stimulate production in the Russian Far East, create new jobs and increase budget receipts at all levels”, said Galushka.

    The Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East is willing to offer Japanese entrepreneurs shares in fishing quotas in exchange for investment in the fishing industry. One session at the EEF will focus on fish processing in the Russian Far East.

    “An investor who is allocated a fishing quota will, along with this quota, assume responsibility for building fish processing facilities in the Russian Far East or investing in the acquisition of Russian-made ships”, explained the Minister.

    Murayama stressed that several Japanese enterprises are interested in investing in the Russian fish processing industry.

    Preparations for a Russian–Japanese round table at the Forum were also discussed. According to Murayama, it will focus on the development of small and medium-sized businesses.

    “We are planning to increase Japanese investment to two or three times its current level. Investments currently amount to more than RUB 500 million, and we are looking into possibly increasing this to RUB 2 billion”, said Galushka regarding the potential for Russian–Japanese cooperation.