Japan has developed and presented to Russia a draft Concept for commercial and economic cooperation in the Far East and the Arctic. The main areas of cooperation were subject of discussion between Alexey Chekunkov, RF Minister for the development of the Far East and Arctic, and Toyohisa Kozuki, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Russia.
The Concept suggested by the Japanese party suggests expanding cooperation in the energy sector, logistics, fish processing, port and transport infrastructure, urban environment, and tourism, the press office of the RF Ministry for the development of the Far East and Arctic reported.
Japan is interested in participating in the North Sea Route development. According to Toyohisa Kozuki, delivery by the Northern Sea Route is 40% more efficient than the traditional shipping routes. Japanese companies are already involved in navigating the NSR to transport LNG by tankers. Mitsui and Jogmec have been members of the Arctic LNG 2 project since 2019. The first stage of the LNG production plant is to become operable in 2023, the investment of the Japanese companies into the project makes $3 bn.
As a prospective project for the cooperation between Russia and Japan in the Arctic, launching a regular container service via the Northern Sea Route was mentioned.
Japan is also interested in export-oriented agricultural projects aimed at increasing the export of soya, corn and other grains, growing and processing kelp, fish, building greenhouses for tomatoes, onions, vegetables, and strawberry.
The parties agreed to develop and agree on a road map to implementing the concept of cooperation in the Russian Far East and Arctic.
According to the Ministry for the development of the Far East and Arctic, the trade between the Far East federal region of Russia and Japan is declining under the pandemic conditions. In January-November 2020, it made $5.2 bn, down 22.6% year-on-year.
Japanese investors were participating in 11 projects worth $181 mn in the advance development territories and the free port zone in the Russian Far East.