"Japanese-Russian trade has grown four times in the past 10 years. Trade volumes between our nations peaked in 2013," he told the audience.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries strained in 2014 after Japan upheld EU and US economic sanctions against Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors over the Ukraine crisis.
The Japanese trade minister admitted that bilateral trade slumped 40 percent in 2015, but attributed low trade figures to a fall in oil prices.
Hayashi also underscored the importance of Japan’s cooperation with Russia on energy, oil trade, car-making, and pharmaceuticals.
Russia is Japan’s largest crude oil supplier after Middle Eastern oil producers, providing it with 8 percent of the total oil imports. Japan is active on the Russian car market where 14 percent of cars are being built at local assembly lines by Japanese car giants.