Modern Russian-Japanese Trade and Investment Cooperation

Mishchenko Ya.V.


The article examines the current state of trade and investment relations between Russia and Japan, which traditionally form the main framework of economic cooperation. Based on the analysis of statistical data from Japanese official sources, the author compares Japan‘s exports to Russia and imports from Russia in the context of time series. The article analyses the commodity structure of bilateral trade identifies the most important groups of goods in mutual trade relations. It is revealed that the main groups of export goods from Russia to Japan are mineral fuels and metals. At the same time, Russia continues to import large-scale products from Japan that are technologically complex and with higher added value (transport equipment, general and electrical engineering products). The archaic trade model between the two countries («equipment in exchange for raw materials ») remains. Trade in the main energy resources (oil and natural gas in the form of LNG), which has been the long-term basis of trade cooperation between Moscow and Tokyo since the Soviet Union, is considered. It is revealed that Japan remains the largest importer of Russian LNG in the eastern direction, although recently, Russia has been increasing LNG exports to Europe. However, in oil trade – crude and petroleum products – Russia is not the dominant source of supply for Japan, significantly inferior to the countries of the Middle East. The analysis of investment cooperation has shown that Russia‘s investment activity in the Japanese market is stagnating. The volume of Japanese foreign direct investment in Russia has increased in recent years, but Russia remains a very modest recipient of Japanese investment, even after the launch of the 8-Point Cooperation Plan.


Russia; Japan; trade; energy; investment; economic cooperation; 8-Point Cooperation Plan.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2021.03.07

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