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Russia, Japan to discuss bilateral relations at Moscow forum

April 27, 2018, 5:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

At least 150 Japanese businessmen are expected to take part in the forum

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MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Russia and Japan will discuss pressing issues concerning the two countries’ trade and economic relations at the fourth bilateral forum dubbed The Points of Convergence, which is set to be held in Moscow on April 27.

At least 150 Japanese businessmen are expected to take part in the forum. Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin and Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov will particularly attend the event.

Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who will be the forum’s special guest, is expected read out Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s address at the event’s opening ceremony.

Participants will discuss the two countries’ tourism cooperation, investment projects for the Far East and other Russian regions, as well as interaction in the areas of infrastructure, technology and energy industry.

Political will

The first Russian-Japanese forum was held in Tokyo in 2013 at the initiative of Japan’s former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

Trade and economic ties between Russia and Japan deteriorated in the wake of Western sanctions on Moscow but bilateral cooperation has been growing in the past two years, while the two countries’ leaders have been holding regular meetings.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came up with an eight-point plan during his visit to Russia in May 2016, which stipulates that Tokyo and Moscow should strengthen relations in the energy sphere, small and medium-size business, the industrialization of Russia’s Far East, as well as expand exports. The plan also envisages that the two countries should enhance interaction in the cutting-edge technologies field, including the nuclear energy sphere, as well as humanitarian cooperation.

Putin and Abe declared 2018 the bilateral year of Russia and Japan. Abe is expected to make a visit to Russia in May 2018 to participate in ceremonies dedicated to the bilateral year and attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Trade and economic dialogue

Russian-Japanese trade increased by 14% in 2017 and mutual investments started to grow.

Ahead of Abe’s visit, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko will make a visit to Moscow to hold a number of meetings, particularly with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov

"Russian-Japanese relations have been rapidly evolving. At the end of the week, a working meeting between the [Russian] first deputy prime minister and [Japanese] Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, responsible for economic cooperation with Russia, is going to take place," a source in Shuvalov’s office told TASS.

Russian officials and businessmen have many times expressed confidence that the growing political trust between the two countries would facilitate the increasing the mutual interest of Russian and Japanese business circles.

In order to achieve this goal, agreements were made to implement a number of joint projects, particularly in Russia’s Far East, including the construction of a bridge between Japan’s Hokkaido Island and Russia’s Island of Sakhalin. In addition, Russia and Japan have been working on numerous projects concerning the energy industry, agriculture and healthcare.

Japanese businessmen have been welcoming the Russian authorities’ efforts to improve business conditions particularly by launching advanced development areas and setting up a free port in Vladivostok.

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