Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the two countries are important partners and there should be closer economic cooperation in e-solutions and green energy.
Ratas said he is pleased to see that relations between Estonia and Japan are increasingly close, especially after Prime Minister Abe's visit to Estonia in January 2018.
"I hope that this visit will also come to mark a new level of friendship between us and give a significant boost to cooperation between businesses as well as growth in export and mutual investments," said Ratas.
Japan has shown a growing interest in Estonia's e-governance and experience with digital solutions, particularly with ID-card applications and e-services based on the X-Road. The country's government wants to digitise 90% of public services by 2035.
"Japan has a high-tech and advanced information society infrastructure as well as the desire to make the day-to-day life easier for its people with digital solutions. The companies accompanying me on this visit, many of whom have in one way or another contributed to the development of the Estonian e-government and several of our e-services, can offer great experiences and cooperation opportunities to the Japanese entrepreneurs, state, and local governments," said Ratas.
The Estonian companies Cleveron and Cybernetica exchanged cooperation memoranda with their Japanese partners Itochu Trading House and Sumimoto Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB) in the presence of Prime Ministers Ratas and Abe. The Estonian and Japanese consumer protection authorities also signed a cooperation agreement to improve the exchange of information and safeguard consumer rights.
Ratas and Abe discussed the Expo 2025, the forthcoming World Expo in Osaka, and the Olympic Games that will be held in Tokyo this summer. "I believe these large events will bring more Estonians to Japan. I am also very pleased that more and more Japanese people are visiting Estonia to see our beautiful nature and cultural heritage," said Ratas.
The prime ministers also emphasised the importance of the working holiday agreement between Estonia and Japan.
Mailis Reps, the Minister of Education and Research, who attended the meeting, expressed the desire to strengthen scientific cooperation between Estonia and Japan. "International research cooperation will benefit the competence and capabilities of both countries. We should support the collaboration between scientists more," said Reps.
"The combination of Japanese cutting-edge science and the cleverness and competences of our scientists creates great opportunities for introducing innovative solutions," said Reps.
Prime Ministers Ratas and Abe discussed relations between the EU and Japan as well as regional matters, including relations with Russia, China, and North Korea. Ratas and Abe also talked about the cooperation between the Baltic States and Japan.
Prime Minister Ratas is visiting Japan with Estonian entrepreneurs, Mailis Reps, the Minister of Education and Research, and Kaido Höövelson, a member of the Riigikogu and the chairman of the Estonia-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Editor: Helen Wright