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Method of slow penetration

How the Japanese economy becomes part of the economy of the Far East.

Method of slow penetration
Photo: Donat Sorokin / TASS
While the politicians of Russia and Japan are puzzled how to solve the problem of the Kuril Islands and the conclusion of a peace treaty (on intensifying negotiations EastRussia wrote recently), the economies of the two neighboring countries slowly but steadily penetrate each other. It turns out that in the 2017-2018 years, Russia and Japan implemented, said at the January meeting with Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, more than 170 projects. EastRussia has studied the cooperation plan of the two countries and the prospects for its implementation in 2019. 


The Tokyo-proposed cooperation development plan with Russia consists of eight points and outlines very broad areas of interaction - from the industrialization of the Far East and the expansion of the export base to cultural exchange and the joint development of energy. The directions of perspective interaction are formulated as follows:

1. Cooperation, contributing to the increase in the duration of healthy life of Russian citizens by increasing the level of medical care.

2. Urban planning to create a comfortable and clean environment, providing a comfortable and active life.

3. Increased cooperation between Japanese and Russian small and medium-sized enterprises.

4. Cooperation in the field of energy development (oil and gas sector, etc.), expansion of production capacity.

5. Promoting diversification and increasing the productivity of Russian industry.
6. The development of industry in the Far East, the formation in this region of the export base to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region.
7. Cooperation in the field of advanced technologies with the integration of knowledge of Japan and Russia.

8. Expansion of bilateral humanitarian exchanges at various levels (tourism, inter-university exchanges and interregional cooperation).


The creation of the Russian-Japanese Center for Preventive Medicine and Diagnostics in Khabarovsk with the possibility of remote consultation on individual diseases is considered by Marubeni Corporation (as a potential project executor), Medical Association Tessokai (as a medical consultant) and the clinic of OJSC "RUSSIAN RAILWAYS".

Cooperation is developing between the medical institutions of both countries in the field of pediatrics and oncology (National Center for Children's Health and Development, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Center for Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology named after Dmitry Rogachev), endoscopy (Oita University, NI Pirogov Medical University ). There is a joint development of a system for diagnosing infectious diseases (Institute RIKEN, the company DNAFORM), an agreement between the companies Otsuka Pharmaceutical and R-Pharm has been concluded for the sale of a new drug for the treatment of tuberculosis in Russia and the CIS, as well as in Yaroslavl, the production of medicines for multiple myeloma company "Takeda Pharmaceutical."


In Vladivostok, the Japanese companies Nikken Sekkey, Iida Group Holdings, and others completed the development of a concept for the development of the city at the end of 2017, and plan to present programs in individual areas of life (transport, tourism, urban planning, including housing and waste management). The construction of two model houses with improved living conditions in Vladivostok under the project for the development of wooden housing in the Far East has been completed. The possibility of creating a waste processing facility (Prospect Company Ltd. and RFP holding) is also being considered.

As a result of the implementation of the city project from the companies Sekisui Chemical, Nice Corporation, Kesan Electric MCM Co., Ltd., and others. Voronezh should become “a comfortable for life smart city with a comfortable environment”.

As part of the development of cooperation between the Post of Japan and the Post of Russia in August 2018, the transportation of sea post from Japan to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway began. As part of the agreement, it is planned to modernize the international logistics centers with the postal and logistics equipment of Toshiba Infrastructure Systems Systems in seven cities of Russia, including Khabarovsk.


In 2017-2018, Japanese cuisine restaurants opened in the Far East of Russia - Sumibi Izakaya En and Menya Kohaku in Vladivostok and Menya Masamune in Yakutsk.

More than 178 companies received support through the Japanese Platform for Cooperation in the field of small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, the Japan Pavilion was housed at Innoprom-2017 and Innoprom-2018, in which around 122 small and medium-sized enterprises took part. Companies are also planned to participate in this exhibition in 2019.
In 2018, representatives of seven small and medium catering enterprises in Japan showed interest in opening restaurants in Russia and visited Moscow and St. Petersburg in order to conduct a business match.


In 2018, JOGMEC and NOVATEK signed a memorandum aimed at joint development of fields and liquefying gas, including work on the Arctic LNG-2 project, which involves the transfer of LNG between icebreaker tankers and conventional tankers in the Kamchatka peninsula and in Kitakyushu .

Also last year, production was launched and export deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) began on all three production lines (overall 16,5 million tons per year) of the Yamal LNG project (JJC, Chiyoda Corporation, , Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui OSK Lines, Saibu Gas, Yamal LNG).

In addition, PJSC RusHydro, Mitsui End Co., Ltd., Komai Haltek Inc. and other Japanese companies are working together to introduce and expand the use of wind power generation in the Far East, including the completion of wind power generation testing in the settlement of Ust-Kamchatsk (Kamchatka Territory), the conclusion of memorandums on the introduction of microgrids with wind-diesel generation in the village of Chersky (the Republic of Sakha) and the introduction of wind power generation on Popova Island (Primorsky Krai).

Cooperation continues in the field of energy conservation (the Center for Energy Conservation of Japan and the Ministry of Energy), transport energy (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Energy) and in the field of burning minor actinides (Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Rosatom).

In February 2019, it is planned to conduct energy saving diagnostics in school buildings in Vladivostok.


In 2019, it is planned to conduct performance diagnostics of Russian enterprises (in 2017-2018, 22 production took place) and training in related industries with internships in Japan, in which more than 200 people will take part.

In addition, the Japanese Center annually trains Japan with 600 managers of Russian companies (topics: Kaizen, Modernization of Medicine, Urban Infrastructure, Information Technologies, etc.).

In December 2018, PJSC Gazprom issued Samurai bonds in the amount of 65 billion yen. JBIC Bank provided its guarantees, and Japanese brokerage companies and banks took part in their release.
Also, a special investment contract was signed between Isuzu, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ulyanovsk region government to establish a joint production enterprise with Sollers with an investment of 10 billion yen.


In 2018, an agreement was signed between Japan and Russia on financial support for projects with the participation of Japanese companies, including in the Far East and Siberia, as well as support for the release of Japanese companies in the advanced development territory and the Free Port of Vladivostok.

In Yakutsk, the companies Hokkaido Corporation and Hocco Corporation built a greenhouse complex for the year-round production of fresh vegetables in a region with a super cold climate. The construction of the second phase of the greenhouse complex, which is planned to be completed in 2019, is underway.
In 2018, JC's Hokuto Rehabilitation Center and Hokuto Hospital opened in Vladivostok, and Sojitz Corporation, JATCO, JOIN, and others entered the number of shareholders in Khabarovsk Airport, acquiring 10% of this company’s shares.

In addition, joint test container transportations were carried out by Transsib, allowing to increase the volume of deliveries of Japanese goods to the markets of third countries through Russian territory.

According to Vladimir Putin, “the development of regular transport links along the Northern Sea Route for the export of LNG to Japan and the states of the Asia-Pacific Region seems promising.”


A memorandum of cooperation in the field of export of agricultural products, livestock, grains, oil and fat products and sugar from the Far East was signed in 2018 between the companies Mitsui and Co. Ltd. "and" Rusagro ".

For unimpeded use of the Internet with the help of Japanese satellite communications in the Far East, a memorandum was signed, and cooperation began between SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, Rostelecom.


The number of Russians who visited Japan in 2018 was a record year and amounted to about 100 thousand people and as many Japanese visited Russia. It is expected that in 2019, the number of tourists will increase to 250 thousand people, and by 2023 year it will increase to 400 thousand people in both directions. In addition, the possibility of a joint government-private tour to Sakhalin, to be held in the summer of 2019, is being considered.

In addition, 12 projects are being implemented to promote the development of exchanges between universities in Japan and Russia, including the creation of the Association of Universities of both countries and the holding of a Japanese-Russian student forum.

Within the framework of interregional cooperation, a twinning agreement was concluded between the cities of Sochi and Nagato, and mutual official visits of delegations from the Republic of Tatarstan, Kaluga and Ulyanovsk regions and Ishikawa, Tochigi and Fukuoka prefectures took place. 


So, in 2018, there was an expansion of trade and investment ties between Russia and Japan, as well as an increase in mutual trade. According to statistics, in January-November last year, the volume of trade between Russia and Japan increased by 18%, reaching almost $ 20 billion, while Japanese investment in the Russian economy amounted to almost $ 2,2 billion. The task of the two countries, as formulated by Vladimir Putin, is in the coming years, increase the trade turnover between them at least one and a half times, up to $ 30 billion.

According to the Far Eastern Customs Administration, for 9 months of 2018, Japan ranked second after the Republic of Korea for the export of goods from the Far East (its share is 23% of exported goods, most of which are hydrocarbons). In terms of imports, the Land of the Rising Sun is in third place after China and the Republic of Korea (8,4% - car parts and equipment and cars).

“We once again confirmed our interest in signing a peace treaty and there is a long and painstaking work ahead in creating conditions for reaching mutually acceptable solutions. The task is to ensure the long-term and comprehensive development of Russian-Japanese relations at a qualitative level. And, of course, the decision that the negotiators will propose should be acceptable to the peoples of Russia and Japan, supported by the public of both our countries, ”said Vladimir Putin.

In the meantime, he said, “the parties agreed to continue efforts to organize joint economic activities on the southern Kuril Islands in five previously approved areas: aquaculture, greenhouse, wind energy, tourism and waste management.”
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