May 9th Business Update from Japan.
1. Foreign Minister Kishida 's Visit To Cuba
Foreign Minister Kishida visited Cuba on May 2 and announced Japanese Government's plan to enlarge its ODA for Cuba. He also agreed with his counterpart, Cuban Foreign Minister Rodrigues to establish "Government and Commercial Joint Council" and "Japan – Cuba United Nations Dialogue". Japan and Cuba have long diplomatic and economic relationship since 1929, but the size of the economic exchange had been somewhat constrained due to the existence of the U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba. Because of the recent dramatic move for the United States to improve its relationship with Cuba, the Japanese Government decided to strengthen the relationship by positively meeting Cuban Government's request for support to improve its health and medical infrastructure, while expecting Cuban relationship with North Korea to help work on the abduction issue.
2. Interview With ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao
Yomiuri held an interview with Mr. Takehiko Nakao, President of Asian Development Bank in conjunction with China's initiative of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
- Japan and the United States hold a 15% share each of the bank, while China does just 6%. Considering the fact that China's GDP is almost double the size of Japanese, Mr. Nakao would like to demand China to raise its contribution to ADB.
- There is huge demand for social infrastructure in Asia. It should work good if China's AIIB can provide ADB's infrastructure projects with co-financing.
- ADB is willing to exchange and share its information and knowledge with AIIB on a mutual collaboration basis, while there is no plan to exchange people yet.
- ADB approved to increase its finance and grant aid scale by 50% to US$ 20 billion in 2017.
3. Japan To Participate In Australian SS Co-Development
According to Yomiuri, Defense Minister Andrews of Australia called Defense Minister Nakaya on May 6 and invited to participate in its future submarine co-development partner selection procedure. It seems that the Japanese Government recognizes this international co-development case as "International Co-Development that Contributes to Japanese National Security, which is one of several cases that the Japanese Government decided to interpret as legal exports in April last year by revising its rigid Arms Export Ban policy. Once the National Security Council officially recognizes this case as an "International Co-Development that Contributes to Japanese National Security", the government of Japan will authorize its submarine manufacturer to disclose certain technologies to participate in the bid. It is expected that Japan will bid with its Soryu Type SS.
4. Honda Jet Made Its First Public Appearance In Japan
The famous auto manufacturer Honda showed its Honda Jet to the Japanese public for the first time during the Golden Week. It is a business jet with seven passengers. Making aircraft is a dream of Mr. Soichiro Honda, the founder. Since the Japanese business jet market is negligible small in comparison with the United States where around 20,000 business jets are operated, Honda Jet is being developed and manufactured in the United States. However, both Haneda and Narita International Airports are now improving their infrastructure and procedures to accept more business jets to and from Japan, and therefore, the public appearance of Honda Jet should have become a good marketing to corporate executives in Japan, who might be potential users. This aircraft is powered by General Electric's engines.
by Nobuo Yoneyama