MOSCOW – Japan and Russia held a meeting of their intergovernmental committee on trade and economic issues Tuesday in Moscow in a bid to improve Russia’s business and investment environment for Japanese companies.
The meeting was co-chaired by visiting Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
By deepening economic relations, the two countries hope to pave the way for solving a bilateral territorial dispute over four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan, informed sources said.
Shuvalov stressed at the meeting that the Russian government continues to place importance on promoting mutually beneficial relations with Japan across Russia, including the Far East.
Kishida said that Japanese companies are eager to do business with Russia even under difficult conditions, adding that the Japanese government maintains a policy of supporting such initiatives.
This was the 11th intergovernmental committee meeting between Japan and Russia, with the previous one held in Tokyo in November 2012. It was the first since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.
Around 10 Japanese companies took part in the latest meeting, aiming to promote economic cooperation with Russia in a way that does not conflict with Tokyo’s economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.
The Russian economy has suffered from Western sanctions, crude oil price falls and a weakening of the ruble.
The Kremlin, therefore, welcomes the committee meeting with Japan, describing economic cooperation as a driving force for the development of a better bilateral relationship.