Abe to lead big business delegation to Russia

April 17, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will head a large delegation of industry executives to Russia at the end of this month as part of an initiative to crack open the Russian market, and perhaps reap a political windfall.

Executives from nearly 50 major corporations, among them Toshiba Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Nissin Foods Holdings Co. and Sumitomo Corp., are already onboard.

The visit could also serve to increase Japan's political leverage as it tries to move forward with negotiations on the Northern Territories, a group of islands off Hokkaido administered by Russia.

Given the prime minister's growth strategy focusing on the export of infrastructure facilities, delegation members will represent industries as diverse as energy development, environmental technologies, medical services, food and agriculture.

A meeting for Japanese and Russian executives will be held in Moscow by the government-affiliated Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation is slated to sign a memorandum with the RDIF over the establishment of a system to jointly invest in new businesses.

The total amount of investments is estimated around 200 billion yen ($2.04 billion). Japan has proposed that Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the signing ceremony.

Abe plans to travel from Russia to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East, accompanied by some of the delegation members.

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), is considering joining the Middle Eastern leg of Abe's trip.

Japan plans to hold a seminar for local companies during the tour with the aim of paving the way for Japanese companies to expand in energy, medical and other fields.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June 2007. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June 2007. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June 2007. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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