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The Japanese companies' lack of trust in Russia stands in the way of boosting the Russian-Japanese economics contacts
The Japanese companies' lack of trust in Russia stands in the way of boosting the Russian-Japanese economics contacts. Toshimitsu Mori, executive director of the Minitoku bank, voiced this opinion in the RIA Novosti interview. He was commenting on the results of the sitting of the Russian-Japanese Sage Council in Tokyo on February 2 through 4, 2005. Mr.Mori noted that bilateral economic contacts are still in development and will eventually come right, though Japanese companies are still seeing the Russian market through the prism of suspicion and mistrust. "It is hard to negate the extreme complexity of problems facing the current Russian leadership. They are many and overdue", Mr.Mori said. Before they move into a foreign market Japanese companies make a thorough study of what is of interest to them, create a favorable environment and only after that seriously get down to work, he explained. "Merely gaining money and then going in not the Japanese style", the Minitoku director said. Political stabilization and the consistently rising microeconomic indicators in Russia give a real chance for launching big joint projects. Mr.Mori is sure that the main role here can be played by three big Japanese companies - Toyota car-maker, Tokyo Denrioku energy producer, Sinnittetsu steel-maker. Toyota will surely come to Russia in two to three years, he believes. Now it is studying the Russian market and the proposed factory projects near Moscow, St.Petersburg or Nizhni Novgorod. Toyota is taking time as seen in the lack of concrete results from yesterday's talks between Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov and Toyota managers. Sinnittetsu could supply pipes for Russia's oil and gas projects in Siberia, the Far Eastern region, Sakhalin island and is showing certain interest, Mr.Mori said. Tokyo Denrioku so far does not think economically sound importing much oil and gas from the Sakhalin offshore zone, he added. "The development of bilateral economic contacts between our countries will greatly depend on the attitude of these three companies towards Russia", Mr.Mori said. "If they come to you, others will follow suit". Asked whether the Japanese government is going to prevent these companies from cooperating with Russian partners, the Minitoku director said definitely no. "Of course, the solution of the territorial problem (Japan claims return of four islands in the Southern Kurile chain, lost after Japan's defeat in WWII) and the conclusion of a peace treaty would promote trust. But now political considerations can tell only if a dozens-billion-dollar macroeconomic project requires borrowing from the state budget", he is sure. Mr.Toshimitsu Mori set high store by the efforts made by President Vladimir Putin to improve the economic situation in Russia. He added that, despite the uncertainty, which still exists in matters of responsibility, "the balance of risk and profit for Japanese companies is being tipped in the latter's favor".
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