Japan, Shandong to spur closer ties

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-07-28

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Japan and Shandong are friendly neighbors that have close ties in many areas, said Igawahara Masaru, consul-general of the Japanese consulate in Qingdao, in a signed article.

Shandong boasts rich natural resources and strong economic strength. In recent years, the province has hosted international conferences such as the Qingdao summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Global Health Forum of the Boao Forum for Asia and the Conference of Great Business Partners.


Igawahara Masaru, consul-general of the Japanese consulate in Qingdao, Shandong province [Photo/iqilu.com]

"Every time I communicate with officials and businessmen in Shandong, I can feel that they attach great importance to economic cooperation and exchanges with Japan," said Igawahara.

He said that Shandong has in recent years made great achievements in its exchanges with Japan as well as implemented measures to build new cooperative ties through high-level visits.

Shandong was one of the first provinces in China where Japanese companies settled in following the nation's reform and opening up. The province is now striving to build a logistics hub that connects East Asia and the world.

Japanese enterprises in Shandong produce a variety of goods, including machinery, electronics, food and textiles, for markets around the world.

Shandong's textiles and industrial products also have strong market competitiveness and are very popular in Japan. The latter also imports a large number of Shandong's agricultural products every year, said the consul-general.

In the future, medical and health care will become one of the areas where Japan and Shandong will deepen cooperation, he said, pointing out that more than 28 percent of Japan's population is over 65, and that the demand for health care and wellness products and services is soaring.

Industrial parks and platforms such as the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the China-SCO demonstration zone and the Qingdao-Japan international business club will attract more Japanese enterprises to invest in Shandong in the future.

"Shandong is now promoting high-quality development and a new era of opening-up, which will provide more opportunities for cooperation with Japan," said Igawahara.

 "I believe that Shandong will become a powerful cooperative partner for Japan's social and economic development. We have high expectations for the development of Shandong."