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Expert: Japan and Russia need examples of successful cooperation in Far East

August 23, 21:01 UTC+3 TOKYO
Chairman at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Shigeru Murayama was speaking ahead of the 2nd Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) that will be held in Vladivostok on September 2-3
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©  ITAR-TASS/Yuriy Smityuk

TOKYO, August 23. /TASS/. Russia and Japan need more examples of successful cooperation in the Far East region, Chairman at Kawasaki Heavy Industries Shigeru Murayama said in an interview with TASS.

Shigeru Murayama chairs the board of directors at the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and the Newly Independent States (ROTOBO).

He was speaking ahead of the 2nd Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) that will be held in Vladivostok on September 2-3.

According to him, such examples together with measures on improving the business environment will change the position of Japanese companies with regard to Russia’s Far East.

Murayama said that at present the Russian policy aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the Far East is "on the side of business and investors, rather than on the side of the authorities."

"The change of the position in this area is one of the reasons for growing attractiveness of the Far East," he said.

At the same time Murayama noted that " Russia’s Far East is a region which has high risks not only for Japanese companies but also for companies from South Korea, China and other Asian countries and for Russian companies as well.

"It is not only Japan that does not look in the direction of (Russia’s) Far East," he said.

However, "the position of Japanese companies with regard to the Far East gradually, but changing," Murayama said.

"To speed up the process, I think it's very important to create the conditions under which it would be easy to do business, and to ensure that there are many examples of successful projects," he added.

Among such examples of successful cooperation he named the construction of greenhouses in the Khabarovsk region by JGC Corporation.

"I feel that Japanese companies use the territories of advance development and the free port of Vladivostok and their promotion activities in the region are gaining momentum," he said.

Speaking about the sectors of the economy Japanese companies are interested in, Murayama mentioned medicine and agriculture.

"Japanese companies are increasingly interested in new areas such as medicine, agriculture, the development of urban infrastructure and so on," he said.

"Efforts in these areas mean not only the introduction of Japanese technology and know-how. It will contribute to improvement of quality of life and industry development in Russia," the President of ROTOBO said.

In general, speaking about the existing problems and measures to address them, Murayama noted that "a year ago, it was impossible to imagine that the present conditions would be created."

"I am sure that within a year the changes will be even more significant," he said.

Speaking about the eight points plan that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on May 6 in Sochi, Murayama said that its implementation requires elaboration of cooperation and financing mechanisms.

"As for terms of cooperation, which includes 8 points, in particular the use of the Far East as a base for development of industry and exports, it requires need the cooperation between private and public sectors of both countries," he said.

The 2nd Eastern Economic Forum will be held on the campus of Russia’s Federal Far-Eastern University on the Isle of Russky off the coast of Vladivostok. Its organizers expect the arrival of no less than 2,400 participants, in particular delegations from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Vientnam, Australia, the US, Singapore and other countries.

They will discuss mechanisms and tools to support businesses, infrastructure and energy projects.

For the first time the EEF was held in September last year, it was concluded more than 80 large investment contracts worth more than 1.3 trillion rubles ($20 bln).

This year the forum will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. According to the Minister for Development of the Far East Alexander Galushka 111 projects with a total investment of 2.2 trillion rubles ($34 bln) will be presented at the forum this year. It is also planned that more than 130 investment agreements in the amount of almost 1 trillion rubles ($15 bln) will be signed, but this sum may increase.

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