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First Russia-Japan symposium on staff training has been held in Osaka

According to Japan’s Minister of Economy, it was decided at the meeting to expand the item on humanitarian exchanges of the current cooperation plan

OSAKA /Japan/, March 24. /TASS/. Japan and Russia held the first symposium focused on student exchanges for further training of personnel for industrial sectors of both countries on Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Economic Development Minster Maksim Oreshkin and President of All-Russia Business Association ‘Delovaya Rossiya’ (Business Russia) and chairman of the Russian-Japanese business council Alexei Repik participated from the Russian side, while Japan was presented by Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, who is in charge for economic ties with Moscow. More than 10 higher education institutions from both countries send delegations of their representatives to Japan’s Osaka.

According to Japan’s Minister of Economy, it was decided at the meeting to expand the item on humanitarian exchanges of the current cooperation plan. "We are expanding the eighth item of the cooperation plan related to humanitarian exchanges by developing student exchanges. Currently we are implementing 13 relevant projects," he said.

Potential for cooperation

Moscow and Tokyo consider efforts to expand student exchanges and bolster cooperation in the area of staff training to have huge potential for economic development of both countries. Particularly, Olga Golodets said at the symposium, that the sides currently face similar tasks in the field of professional training. "We understand that today’s potential for expansion of humanitarian cooperation is very promising, and our task is to unlock it. Our countries are similar in terms of population structure, we also face a certain deficit of labor resources, while the issue of professional training is very relevant both for Russia and Japan," she said.

Golodets expects joint Russian-Japanese programs in the area of professional training to propel it to new heights. According to Deputy PM, Moscow is ready to provide more education allowances for Japanese students.

"As of today we provide allowances for students from other countries. Now 97 students from Japan are getting a tuition-free education in Russia. We are ready to provide more allowances for Japanese students in top in-demand specialty areas," she said. The expansion of inter-academic ties between Russia and Japan has huge potential, Golodets said, adding that as of now around 250 agreements reached by educational institutions of the two countries are in place.

Business missions’ visits

In early 2018, a business mission from Russia visited Japan for enhancing labor efficiency as part of measures to implement the agreements. Russian businessmen and officials visited production facilities of several Japanese manufacturers, including Toyota Motor and Mitsubishi Electric.

According to Maksim Oreshkin, Russia is preparing a plan for more business missions’ visits to Japan and other events aimed at cooperation expansion in the area of enhancing labor efficiency for 2018-2019.

According to Oreshkin, Moscow and Tokyo are developing "new dimensions of the cooperation plan, for example, by integrating the Russian-Japanese digital economy agenda into it." "Another important cooperation area is (the task of - TASS) improving labor efficiency. In February, the first business mission on this topic visited Tokyo and Nagoya. It was the first event of the kind, and now we are drafting a plan for visits, business missions and seminars for 2018-2019," he added.

"We continue effective efforts to implement the cooperation plan offered by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We constantly move from simple trade to integrated long-term projects and cooperation, including the areas of education and culture. We also see the expansion of Japanese businesses to the various sectors of the Russian market," the minister said.

Bilateral cooperation between Russia and Japan in the area of enhancing staff training is based on a joint announcement on partnership in digital economy and a memorandum on experience exchange in the field of improving labor efficiency. The papers were signed last September following the meeting of Russia’s Economic Development Minster Maksim Oreshkin and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko in Vladivostok.

Back then the sides agreed to establish a stable, reliable and safe infrastructure for bridging the digital gap, enhancing productivity and developing human resources, as well as to expand business cooperation in the digital economy and promote innovations through introducing stimulative technologies. Moscow and Tokyo also agreed to step up cooperation and share experience in the field of labor efficiency. The sides noted that those efforts would substantially contribute to the social and economic development of both countries.

Green corridor for pharma companies

Prior to the symposium, a trilateral meeting between Golodets, Oreshkin and Seko was held, where they discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation within the economic development plan offered by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2016.

Golodets said that Moscow had suggested to Tokyo that a green corridor be created for pharmaceutical companies. "We have suggested that the so-called green corridor be created for companies involved in medical equipment production and pharmacy, as we want to ease the access for Japanese companies to the Russian market," she said, adding that talks on that matter had been held with Hitachi.

Speaking about the upcoming visit of Shinzo Abe to Russia in May 2018, Seko said that it is necessary to ensure that as many as possible projects within the Russian-Japanese economic cooperation will be implemented by that time. "I want as many as possible projects to be launched prior to the meeting of the leaders in May," he said.

According to Oreshkin, the economic priorities announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin while delivering State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly are in line with the eight-point plan put forward by the Japanese prime minister in May 2016. "The key ideas concerning social and economic development for the coming years, which President Putin announced in his address, are in line with the development plan proposed by Prime Minister Abe," he said.

Over the past several years, the economic cooperation between the two countries has been based on a cooperation plan offered by Shinzo Abe at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 6, 2016. The plan includes efforts to foster relations between Japan and Russia in the energy sector, small and medium-sized businesses, the promotion of industrialization of the Far East, expansion of the export base, as well as the proposal to strengthen cooperation in the cutting-edge technologies, including nuclear energy, and the sphere of humanitarian exchanges.