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METI Minister Seko Visits the Czech Republic and the Republic of Finland

From August 21 (Mon) to 26 (Sat.), 2017, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Prague, the Czech Republic, and Helsinki and Eurajoki, the Republic of Finland.

In the Czech Republic, Minister Seko held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Jiří Havlíček, Minister of Industry and Trade, and requested that the Czech Republic develop and improve investment environments in the country. Moreover, explaining Japan’s policy efforts for Connected Industries, Minister Seko exchanged views with Minister Havlíček concerning collaboration in the fields of IoT and digital technology, cooperation in the field of nuclear power, and other issues. Following this, Minister Seko visited the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC), a core organization promoting Czech Industry 4.0, and exchanged views with stakeholders, and also visited a manufacturing plant operated by Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile (TPCA).

In the Republic of Finland, Minister Seko held meetings with both H.E. Mr. Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development and H.E. Mr. Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs, and exchanged views concerning cooperation toward the further development of the Japan-Finland economic relationship, the importance of Japan-EU collaboration in light of the situation of international commerce, and other issues. Moreover, Minister Seko visited a facility for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste, which is under construction. Following this, he also held a meeting with Mr. Vesa Lakaniemi, Mayor, Eurajoki, and other senior members of the city assembly, a municipality in charge of Olkiluoto Island on which the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste is under construction, and exchanged views concerning approaches to communication with local residents, and other issues. Furthermore, Minister Seko exchanged views with H.E. Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment, concerning the measures for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste, processes for selecting final disposal sites, and other issues.

1. Visiting the Czech Republic

From August 21 (Mon.) to 22 (Tue.), Minister Seko visited Prague, the Czech Republic, and held a meeting with Minister Havlíček. Following this, he visited the CIIRC as well as TPCA’s manufacturing plant, and exchanged views with stakeholders.

(1)Meeting with Minister Havlíček (August 21)

Minister Seko held a meeting with Minister Havlíček. In light of the close Japan-Czech relationship, as seen in an achievement in which over 250 Japanese companies launched business in the country and created nearly 50,000 new employments, he requested the Czech Republic to develop and improve investment environments in the country so as to further develop Japan-Czech economic ties. Moreover, explaining Japan’s efforts for the Connected Industries policy, Minister Seko exchanged views with Minister Havlíček concerning collaboration in the fields of IoT and digital technology, cooperation in the field of nuclear power, and other issues.

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(2)Visiting the CIIRC (August 21)

Minister Seko visited CIIRC, a research institute equipped with industrial robots, machine tools and other advanced technologies, as well as test beds (test platforms), serving as a core organization in promoting the Prumysl 4.0 policy, Czech Industry 4.0, formulated by the government in August 2016. At the institute, Minister Seko exchanged views with staff concerning the current situation of CIIRC’s efforts and other issues.

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(3)Visiting a TPCA manufacturing plant (August 22)

Minister Seko visited an automobile plant operated by TPCA in Kolín, the Czech Republic*. He toured manufacturing lines taking advantage of production technologies and know-how of the Japanese company and also exchanged views with stakeholders concerning advantages in developing manufacturing bases in Eastern Europe and future challenges therein.

*Note: The plant was established in 2005 in the form of a joint venture by Toyota Motor Corporation and PSA Group. Representing a symbol of the close relationship between Japan and the Czech Republic, this plant manufactures about 220,000 automobiles annually and is a source of about 3,000 jobs.

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2. Visiting Finland

From August 22 (Tue.) to 25 (Fri.), Minister Seko visited Helsinki and Eurajoki, Finland, and held meetings with each of Minister Mykkänen and Minister Lintilä. Following this, he visited a facility for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste, which is under construction, and exchanged views with stakeholders.

(1)Meeting with Minister Mykkänen(August 23)

Minister Seko held a meeting with Minister Mykkänen, and confirmed anew a variety of issues, including the importance of Japan-Finland collaboration to further enhance the bilateral relationship with an eye to the 100th anniversary in 2019 since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the significance of Japan-EU collaboration in light of the current trends in international commerce.

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(2)Meeting with Minister Lintilä(August 23)

Minister Seko held a meeting with Minister Lintilä. He confirmed progress in the ongoing Japan-Finland collaboration efforts, e.g., start-ups support initiatives and cooperation in the field of digital, which are operated by related organizations in both countries. Moreover, both sides exchanged views concerning cooperation for further development of bilateral economic ties and other issues.

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(3)Meeting with Mayor Lakaniemi(August 24)

Minister Seko held a meeting with Mayor Lakaniemi and senior members of the city assembly of Eurajoki, a municipality in charge of Olkiluoto Island on which a final disposal of high-level radioactive waste is under construction, and both sides exchanged views concerning approaches to communication with local residents and other issues.

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(4)Visiting the facility for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste(August 24)

Minister Seko visited the facility for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste, which is under construction on Olkiluoto Island of Eurajoki, and toured the inside of the facility. He also exchanged views with staff of Posiva, the operator of the facility, and confirmed the importance of appropriate conveyance of information on such facilities for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste to the public, the significance of efforts for developing the understanding of local residents, and other issues.

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(5)Meeting with Minister Tiilikainen (August 25)

Minister Seko held a meeting with Minister Tiilikainen, and both sides exchanged views concerning the measures for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste, processes for selecting final disposal sites, and other issues.

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Release date

August 28, 2017

Division in Charge

Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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