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10.05.2017 - 12: 08

Russia - Japan: convergence economy

A series of discussions and negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the US, Germany and Turkey to some extent took away the shadows held before Russian-Japanese summit talks. Meanwhile, attempts to Moscow and Tokyo bring bilateral relations from a long-term stagnation are important in terms of building a new and effective model of relations between countries in the absence of a comprehensive international agreement between them. Firstly, it is a potentially volatile region of East Asia, with the close intertwining of mutual territorial claims, nuclear ambitions and complex relationships of states located here. Secondly, Russia and Japan are trying to build a fundamentally new model of interaction in relation to territories whose status is disputed either party.

Finally, the Russian-Japanese cooperation is an important integral part of the international strategy of Russia in the energy sector. Not by chance the talks the leaders of Russia and Japan were held in Moscow on a background of the beginning of works in the framework of the construction of the gas pipeline "Turkish Stream" from the Russian coast of the Black Sea. Pipe-laying vessel Audacia beginning of Allseas, which is the contractor for both lines of the offshore section of the pipeline. "The project is implemented as planned, and by the end of 2019 years our Turkish and European consumers will gain new reliable route for import of Russian gas", - said chairman of PJSC "Gazprom" Alexey Miller.

That energy, as shown by the results of the negotiations in Moscow, the Japanese delegation headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is capable of becoming a key driver of Russian-Japanese relations. What is happening here compares favorably with the actions of many European consumers of Russian energy sobriety approaches and specific economic calculations. As stressed was a part of the Japanese delegation, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seco, his country will increase investment in the energy sector in Russia and plans to increase purchases of Russian gas. "Traditionally, Japan buys most of its oil and gas in the Middle East. And we are concerned about this relationship, as the route is very unsafe, fraught with geopolitical risks, - stressed the Minister. - Japanese companies are already investing quite heavily in oil and gas industry in your country. For example, in projects on Sakhalin, Japanese companies occupy a leading position. Regarding the development of gas fields in Yamal - there is also a Japanese capital is present. For us it is important to ensure that the northern route of delivery of energy resources from Russia to Japan. This is very important from the point of view of energy security of our country. So I think that Japanese investment will increase, "- said Hiroshige Seco and added that Moscow and Tokyo are also studying the possibility of building a joint gas pipeline. It is assumed that the source of funding for these large-scale projects can be created at the moment of the Russian-Japanese investment fund, whose founders will be Russian Direct Investment Fund (RFPI) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

"Today, Russia and Japan, have focused their efforts on building a new model of mutually beneficial cooperation in the establishment of new principles of economic cooperation. A couple of years ago it was hard to imagine that the business circles of our countries so will actively plan for the implementation of joint investment projects in the field of information technology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, urban environment development of advanced industrial technology ... "- said the chairman of the Russian-Japanese Business Council Alexey Repik . Today, all this becomes a reality.

Intensification of economic and investment cooperation, as a means of improvement of bilateral political relations are closely monitoring and in Japan and in other countries. The rapprochement with Russia as an economic partner of Japan will help to build relations with China, says the professor of the Tokyo International Christian University Stephen Neydzhi. It should be noted that in November 2016, the economy and energy ministers of Russia and Japan agreed to develop cooperation in several projects, including a joint oil and gas exploration in the Russian Far East, as well as cooperation in the field of wind energy and deactivation of NPP "Fukushima".

Currently, one of Japan's partners in energy cooperation with Russia, has accumulated rich experience of joint projects, the company "Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd." ( "Sakhalin Energy"), the main shareholder of which is PJSC "Gazprom". "Sakhalin Energy" is the operator of "Sakhalin-2" project aimed at the creation in the region of large-scale oil and gas infrastructure for the extraction, transportation and processing of hydrocarbons. The company supplies the market with oil produced in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) producing the first LNG plant in Russia, which built "Sakhalin Energy" in the south of the island and produces more than 4% of global LNG capacity.

The main buyers of oil and LNG, produced by "Sakhalin Energy" - the Asia-Pacific region. To date, the oil supplied to China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the United States, the Philippines, Taiwan. Participants of the project "Sakhalin-2» are «Gazprom» (50% + 1 share), the British-Dutch by Shell, and also Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi. In addition, in "Gazprom" plans - the construction of the third stage of the plant on Sakhalin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after his talks with Japanese Prime Minister 27 April confirmed: "The Japanese business engaged in the development of oil and gas fields" Sakhalin-1 »,« Sakhalin-2 », in the construction of liquefied natural gas plant on the Yamal Peninsula. We talked with Prime Minister Abe and the plans for the joint construction of gas pipeline "Sakhalin - Hokkaido", the creation of marine energy bridge for electricity supplies from Russia to Japan, cooperation in the field of renewable and alternative energy sources. The implementation of these future projects will help to provide Japanese consumers with additional energy by the shortest route and at affordable prices. "

Japanese companies interested approach to cooperation with Russia in the energy sector in many ways echoes the similar position of the German and Austrian business. It shows held recently by Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with the Director General, Chairman of the Board of the Austrian oil and gas group OMV Rainer Seele. "I can only confirm: during these 50 years, we have always received Russian gas, we have always had to deal with an honest partner and intend to intensify this cooperation. And we have been honored to receive the invitation from the "Gazprom" to come to this beautiful country as Russian investors ", - he said at a meeting in the Kremlin Seele. He said that his company intends to establish a "joint gas production in Siberia and with this aim is to develop together with" Gazprom "the construction of appropriate infrastructure.

Russian cooperation with other countries in the gas sector has a solid financial and economic basis. This concerns, including financial and economic indicators of "Gazprom" activities. Net income in the year amounted to 2016 951,6 billion rubles, an increase of 21%. As the head of "Gazprom" Alexei Miller in the course of 4 May talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, "since the early 2017 year deliveries to the European market grew by 15% compared to the same amount last year. In absolute terms 8,6 billion cubic meters of gas last year, plus the volume. "

However, energy - but one of the most promising models of the withdrawal of Russian-Japanese relations to a new level. No less important is the idea proposed by the Russian side of the joint economic development of the Kuril Islands.

(To be continued)

A source: Strategic Culture Foundation

Author: Peter ISKENDEROV

Tags: Russia, Japan, Economics, International Relations, Research, Gas, Gazprom