“To the Russian executives here in the audience, let me tell you that Japanese pile drivers were used in constructing the bridge you crossed to be here today. And it is Japanese-made gas turbines producing the electricity used in this hall. I hope that all of you accumulate many experiences working together with Japanese companies at the earliest possible time. … President Putin, the road to becoming the manufacturing power you are aiming at has a proven shortcut. And that is partnering with Japanese companies, I can proclaim emphatically.”

This was Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pitch to a lineup of Russia’s top political and business leaders who gathered in Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum, organized by the Russian government in early September.

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