Japan, Finland to expand Arctic cooperation
Japanese and Finnish representatives have decided to more actively explore the Arctic together and contribute to developing the Northern Sea Route. This agreement was reached on March 10 at a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finnish President Sauli Väinämö Niinistö, now paying an official visit to Tokyo, TASS reports.
According to their joint statement, the leaders of both countries will promote dialogue and cooperation in the area of joint Arctic exploration, including the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Barents Sea region. Japan and Finland, which are located at opposite ends of the Northern Sea Route, share common interests in the Arctic. Expanding cooperation should involve business persons and scientists, the document reads in part.
Earlier, Abe repeatedly noted Tokyo's intention to play an active role in drafting international navigation regulations for the Arctic and developing the region's mineral deposits, the news agency notes. The Japanese Prime Minister said that his country should become an important player in the North Pole zone by developing the appropriate scientific technologies that have always been Japan's trademark. By more actively using the Northern Sea Route Japan can shorten the distance between Tokyo and major European ports by 40 percent.
Currently, Japan has observer status in the Arctic Council, an organization uniting regional states.