TALLINN – Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas is on an official working visit to Japan from Monday to Thursday to intensify bilateral relations and expand economic cooperation between the two countries, the government's communication office said.
The prime minister is accompanied on the trip by a business delegation made up of executives from 17 Estonian businesses.
The premier is also accompanied by Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps and MP and chairman of the group for Estonia-Japan interparliamentary relations in the parliament of Estonia, Kaido Hoovelson.
Ratas said the purpose of the visit is to confirm the close cooperation between Estonia and Japan and to support the establishment of relations between Estonian information technology and green energy companies and the Japanese state and entrepreneurs.
"I hope that the visit will contribute to the investments and export of Estonian services and, as a result, strengthen the relations between our companies. Japan is increasingly interested in Estonian e-governance and e-solutions. During the visit, we aim to find opportunities for our entrepreneurs to intensify cooperation in the field," said Ratas.
"We also share common interests and face similar challenges with Japan on climate issues, which is an area where our companies could contribute," the prime minister added.
On the first day of the visit, Ratas will be greeted by Crown Prince Akishino.
At a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, discussion topics will include deepening economic relations, environmental and energy issues, and cooperation in the digital and cyber domain. Regional issues and international cooperation, including in the UN, will also be discussed. Due to the importance of climate issues, the prime minister will meet with Japan's Minister of the Environment Shinjiro Koizumi to discuss opportunities for cooperation in the field.
Ratas will attend business seminars in Tokyo, Parnu's sister city Ichikawa, Kobe, and Kyoto to intensify relations between Estonian and Japanese entrepreneurs. The Estonian premier also has meetings scheduled with Hirotami Murakoshi, mayor of Ichikawa, Kizo Hisamoto, mayor of Kobe, and Takatoshi Nishiwaki, governor of Kyoto. In addition, the prime minister will meet with Hirofumi Yoshimura, governor of Osaka, and Ichiro Matsui, mayor of Osaka, as well as with Toshizo Ido, governor of Hyogo.
On Tuesday evening, a reception will be held to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, where the Estonian prime minister will deliver a speech.
The business delegation includes representatives of Estonian developer of digital textbooks Star Cloud, BugBox Ltd., Cleveron, e-school developer K12 Technologies, Admiral Markets Group, Elcogen, Balsnack International Holding, Planetway, Helmes, RaulWalter, DefSecIntel Solutions, Millennium Invest/Oryaku, Ecomatic, Aktors, Cybernetica, GoSwift, Tech Heroes Club, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Enterprise Estonia. The visit has been organized in cooperation with the Estonian embassy in Tokyo and Enterprise Estonia.
The prime minister will return to Estonia on Feb. 14.