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TOKYO, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - Hakubun Shimomura, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, leaves for Russia on Wednesday for an official visit at the head of a delegation.
A Ministry official told Itar-Tass that Mr. Shimomura intends to cheer the Japanese sportsmen who are taking part in the world athletics championship in Moscow, and meet with members of the Olympic Committee of the Russian Federation.
Since the sphere of the Minister's powers includes several fields of endeavour, each of which in other countries is within the competence of a separate ministry, the programme forH akubun Shimomura's stay in the RF is a very busy one. Apart from attending competitions at the world athletics championship and meetings with Russian sports representatives, he is cheduled to make a trip on August 15 to the Yuri Gagarin testing research center for the training of cosmonauts. Over there, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata currently undergoes training ahead of his November space flight to the International Space Station.
Mr. Shimomura also intends to visit the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Educational Center of the Gazprom Company. The Minister is to meet with a group of Japanese students attending Russian institutions of higher learning.
Relations between the two countries of late began actively to develop in all fields, including culture, sports, and science. A Russian Culture Festival opened in Japan at the beginning of June. It is being held for an eighth time and will run until December.
Performances are given in the Land of the Rising Sun by prominent Russian music groups and folk song ensembles; exhibitions of paintings are held, and acted films and animated cartoons are shown.
The 51st demonstration aikido performanesw ere held in Tokyo at the end of May with the participation of the largest-ever team of wrestlers from Russia. At the St Petersburg economic forum held at the end of June, a staff member of the Asahi Sakai Corporation, Akira Yoshino, was awarded the Global Energy prize for developing lithium-ion storage batteries for information and communication devices, and for electric-powered and hybrid transport vehicles.
The visit of Hakubun Shimomura, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to the RF will continue until August 20.