About the Japan-Russia Governors’ Meeting(May12-14,2019)

About the Japan-Russia Governors’Meeting
National Governors’ Association Secretariat
    Eight prefectural governors, including Kiyoshi Ueda , the president of the National Governors’ Association, visited the Russian Federation (Moscow) on May 12 through 14, where the Japan-Russia Governors’ Meeting involving Sergey Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, and the governors of Russian federal subjects took place. In conjunction with this visit, individual discussions and an informal talk with Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the Federation Council, also took place.
 
1. Russia visit members (participating governors)
    Kiyoshi Ueda, president of the National Governors’ Association (and governor of Saitama
    Prefecture); Naomichi Suzuki, governor of Hokkaido Prefecture; Kazuhiko Oigawa, governor of
    Ibaraki Prefecture; Takakazu Ishii, governor of Toyama Prefecture; Hajime Furuta, governor of 
    Gifu Prefecture; Ryuta Ibaragi, governor of Okayama Prefecture; Shinji Hirai, governor of
    Tottori Prefecture; and Satoshi Mitazono, governor of Kagoshima Prefecture
 
2. Japan-Russia itinerary
    ○ Sunday, May 12, 2019
        Social dinner party with Toyohisa Kozuki, the Japanese ambassador to Russia
        (Japanese embassy)
    ○ Monday, May 13
        Japan-Russia Governors’ Meeting (11:00–16:45 at the Petrovsky Palace conference hall)
        — 8 Japanese governors and 22 Russian governors
        Visit to Zaryad’ye Park
        Reception hosted by the mayor of Moscow
    ○ Tuesday, May 14
        Visit to Moscow municipal facilities
        Informal talks with Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the Federation Council,
        and governors of Russian federal subjects (visit to the Federation Council)
        Return to Japan
 
3. Overview of the Japan-Russia Governors’ Meeting
    Guests and observers attending the event included Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the Federation Council; Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council; and Toyohisa Kozuki, the Japanese ambassador to Russia. During the opening ceremony, Chairwoman Matviyenko read a message on behalf of President Vladimir Putin and delivered a welcome message of her own.
    Sergey Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, gave an introduction on behalf of the Russian delegates, and Kiyoshi Ueda, the president of the National Governors’ Association, gave an introduction on behalf of the Japanese delegates. Mr. Ueda expressed his pleasure regarding the hosting of the Japan-Russia Governors’ Meeting amidst the expansion in interaction between Japan and Russia, including regional government bodies, as part of the two countries’ Eight-Point Cooperation Plan. Additionally, there was an introduction by Alexander Beglov, acting mayor of St. Petersburg; an introduction by Ichiro Aisawa, president of the Japan-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Association (read on his behalf by the governor of Okayama Prefecture), a message read on behalf of Hiroshige Seko, president of the Japan-Russia Council  for the Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Councillors, by Ambassador Kozuki, and a message by Ambassador Kozuki himself.
    The meeting consisted of four segments, with the governors giving reports and exchanging their views on four topics: (1) the role of inter-regional cooperation in Japan-Russia relations; (2)  developing small- and medium-sized enterprises outside of major urban areas and attracting, encouraging, and protecting investment in industrial and infrastructure facilities; (3) support for technological innovation by Russian federal subjects and Japanese prefectures; and (4) regional contributions to Japan-Russia cooperation in fields related to culture and the humanities as well as the development of exchange between youth.
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(Photographs provided by the Russian Federation Council)
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4. Informal talks with Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the Federation Council, and the Russian governors
    The delegates visited the Federation Council, and an exchange of views regarding interaction between regional governments took place over the course of one hour. It involved Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the Federation Council; Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council; and the governors of Russian federal subjects (the governor of Primorsky Krai, the chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, the chairman of the State Council of the Sakha Republic, the governor of Khabarovsk Krai, the governor of Yaroslavl Oblast, and the governor of Novgorod Oblast).
    Chairwoman Matviyenko called upon the governors of Russian federal subjects to promote exchange between regional governments in view of the fact that the following year would be a year of local exchange between Japan and Russia, and the governors presented the current state of exchange between the two countries.
    Chairman Kosachev expressed his desire to go ahead with tentative plans to hold the following year’s Japan-Russia Governors’ Meeting in Japan. However, he stated that this would need to be adjusted due to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games that year, so he was waiting for a proposal from the Japanese side.
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(Photographs provided by the Russian Federation Council)