Visit to Japan by Vice-Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Viktor Khristenko

December 1, 2001

From 30 November to 2 December, Vice Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Viktor Khristenko, paid a visit to Tokyo. In addition to paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, on 1 December Mr. Khristenko co-chaired the 5th meeting of the Japan-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Makiko Tanaka. The following is an outline and evaluation of the meeting.

1. Overall Evaluation

The aim of the meeting was to promote the development of trade and economic relations between Japan and Russia, by (1) the removal of barriers to private economic activities in Russia and the smooth implementation of Japanese assistance to Russia; (2) improvement of Russia's trade and investment environment; and (3) cooperation to help Russia further implement economic reforms. Based on positive trends in economic areas, such as the recent visit to Russia by a Keidanren Mission, Japan and Russia were able to have frank and valuable discussions on cooperation and issues in bilateral economic relations.

2. Outline

1. Overview of trade and economic relations between Japan and Russia

  1. Trade and economic relations between Japan and Russia in the year since the 4th Inter-Governmental committee meeting were reviewed.
  2. Japan requested an early resolution of the pending problems in economic relations with Russia.
  3. An agreement was made to examine, at working-level, proposals for the early establishment of an organization to promote trade and investment to Russia, which Mr. Takashi Imai, Chairman of Keidanren, presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Keidanren Mission in June 2001.

2. The Russian Economy

  1. The Russian side explained its economic situation and economic reforms. The Japanese side highly evaluated Russia's efforts on economic reform and also expressed an expectation that further efforts would be made to improve the environment for investment in Russia.
  2. The Japanese side restated its support for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

3. Cooperation in Individual Areas

Discussions were held on cooperation in areas such as energy, the revitalization of the Trans-Siberian Railway, atomic energy, science and technology, space development programs, the environment and the situation in the Russian Far East.

4. Visit to Japan by the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasjyanov

General agreement was reached that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasjyanov would visit Japan in the first half of 2002, and expectation was expressed that the visit would be an important step in promoting Japan-Russia cooperation across a wide range of areas.

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