Russia and Japan step up bilateral ties at Russian-Japanese Forum

Preforum`s official party. Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Preforum`s official party. Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

A new bilateral conference focusing on the relationship between Russia and Japan entitled  "Russian–Japanese Forum: Areas of Cooperation: Business, Technology, Culture" opened on Feb. 28 at the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo. Organizers say that the event could become an annual meeting with the goal of promoting dialogue between the two countries and strengthening bilateral relations.

Representatives of Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Japanese newspaper Mainichi, which organized the forum, said that improved bilateral relations would also help create a positive image for the two countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The forum opened with a plenary session, which included comments by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida; General Director of Rossiyskaya Gazeta Pavel Negoitsa; Yutaka Asahina, President of Mainichi Newspapers; Viktor Ishayev, the Russian Minister for Far East Development, and Yevgeny Afanasiev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Japan.

One of the forum’s main priorities is strengthening the relationship between Moscow and Tokyo through interpersonal contact and communication, so the agenda allows for plenty of time for interaction.

The two sides also put a special emphasis on strengthening Russia’s role in the Asia-Pacific region and on developing Russian–Japanese cooperation in the Far East. The themed sessions during the forum will discuss the development of resources, infrastructure, IT, space, culture and sports.

Representatives of more than 140 major Japanese companies are taking part in the forum, including Mitsui & Co, IHI, Toyota Motors, Japan Tobacco, SoftBank, Nikken Sekkei, Toshiba and Hitachi. A total of more than 500 participants from the Japanese side alone are expected, according to the organizers.

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