MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) – Japan wants to establish close cooperation with Russia in the Arctic exploration and is preparing a number of specific proposals to this end, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura, currently on a visit in Moscow, said in an interview with Itar-Tass.

“I’ve met and exchanged views with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Fortov and I would like to talk about the issues that we discussed with him in the context of the development of relations in the Arctic,” the minister said.

“Japan believes there is a strong need to conduct continuous monitoring and research in the Arctic, in particular, in connection with global climate change,” Hakubun Shimomura continued. “In view of the fact that Russia is a country to which the largest territory in the Arctic belongs, we consider cooperation with it as absolutely necessary. In particular, we need to work together in the sphere of creating monitoring stations in the Arctic, the use of the icebreaker fleet, exchange of experts and the general expansion of research in this sphere.”

The minister said that a regular meeting of the Japanese-Russian Joint Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation will be held in Tokyo this September. “It will exactly discuss further prospects for the development of interaction and cooperation between the two countries in this part of the world.”

“We plan to put forward a concrete proposal on Arctic research cooperation, in particular, with regard to cooperation in the sphere of observation and personnel exchange,” said the minister.