TOKYO -- Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida responded to opposition legislators that he has no intention to reconsider an economic cooperation plan with Moscow that has been incorporated into the initial fiscal 2022 draft budget. "At this point, I have no plans to amend the budget," said Kishida.
The prime minister made the statement during a session of the House of Councillors Budget Committee on March 14. He explained that the budget "included various assistance for Japanese corporations, a budget for national energy security, and humanitarian aid."
The economic cooperation plan is something that then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2016. Included in the plan are the expansion of investment in the energy field, and the promotion of exchanges between small to mid-sized Japanese and Russian companies.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said at the budget committee meeting that he thinks the 2.1 billion yen (approx. $17.8 million) in related funds that are allocated in the fiscal 2022 draft bill could be used to help Japanese companies withdraw from Russia if the situation gets to that point.
The responses from Kishida and Hagiuda were answers to questions from Yuko Mori and Tetsuro Fukuyama, both from the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.
(Japanese original by Jun Aoki, Political News Department)