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Japan’s economy minister says Russia is ‘forefront of possibilities’ for Tokyo

December 14, 2016, 19:43 UTC+3 TOKYO

"Japan and Russia are two great neighboring powers and they mutually complement each other," Hiroshige Seko told TASS

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© Yuri Smityuk/ITAR-TASS, archive

TOKYO, December 14. /TASS/. Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Wednesday he considered Russia as a "forefront of possibilities" for his country’s business.

The minister was interviewed on the eve of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan.

"Russia is a forefront of possibilities for private Japanese companies," said the minister who oversees cooperation with Russia in the Japanese government.

"Both the volume of mutual trade and the volume of investment are still insignificant in bilateral economic relations compared to the potential of our ties. That is why, as it seems to me, the Japanese-Russian contacts have big prospects," the minister noted.

"Japan and Russia are two great neighboring powers and they mutually complement each other. The implementation of bilateral projects will also contribute to the economic growth of our country," Seko said.

The Japanese economy minister said he would actively work on the implementation of the eight-point plan for the development of cooperation with Russia, which Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had proposed to President Putin during their meeting in Sochi in May this year.

This program stipulates the development of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of energy, small and medium business, the Far East industrialization, the expansion of the export base, humanitarian exchanges and also in the field of advanced technologies, including nuclear power engineering.

As was reported, the sides are preparing a wide range of documents in the economic field for signing during the Russian president’s visit to Japan.

On business climate in Russia

Investment climate has been improving in Russia, including the judicial system, Japanese Economy, Seko has noted.

"If we speak about investment activities of Japanese businesses in Russia, naturally it should be profitable," Seko said. "What is more, I have heard that some companies believe Russia has an unstable judicial system, with complicated procedures related to investments and other factors."

"On the other hand, the business climate is improving in your country as it has become easier to register a company and the judicial system operates well. Given such assessments of the situation in Russian market prevail among Japanese businesses, the number of entrepreneurs looking towards Russia will be on the rise."

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