TOKYO, August 8 (RIA Novosti) – Japan would like to increase its export of agricultural goods to Russia regardless of external factors, Maiko Kubo, deputy director of the export promotion division at Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry told RIA Novosti on Friday.
"We would like to increase the export of Japanese products to Russia. A revision of the restrictions on fish products after the Fukushima-1 nuclear plant disaster could help that. In any case, Japan would like to increase export volumes to Russia regardless of external factors," Kubo said.
On Thursday, Russia imposed a one-year ban on the import of beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, milk, dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway. The embargo may carry a 12 billion euro loss for the EU.
"The volumes of export of Japanese agricultural products to Russia are very small so far. Of course, if we could already compete [with the countries under restrictions], then the elimination of the competitor could be our big advantage, but so far, unfortunately, we do not consider ourselves a competition," Kubo added.
The trade volume between Russia and Japan amounted to 3.7 billion yen ($37 million) in 2013. Russia ranks 19th among Japan's top importers of agricultural goods.
Russia’s import ban came in response to several rounds of Western sanctions against Russian businesses and officials imposed by the United States at the height of the Ukrainian crisis, who then pressed for its allies in the West to follow its lead. The European Union, Canada and Australia soon caved in and drew up their own blacklists.