“We are both interested in developing technological solutions that will provide us with clean energy in the future – to reduce Estonia’s dependence on oil shale and Japan’s use of coal power, “said Ratas. “We wish to develop cooperation with Japan, for example, in areas such as hydrogen technology, the circular economy and energy storage technologies,” said Ratas.
“I hope that this visit will also come to mark a new level of friendship between us and give a significant boost to cooperation between businesses as well as growth in export and mutual investments,” Ratas said to ERR. Last year, the Estonian Investment Agency hosted more than 20 high-level Japanese business visits to Estonia with some of both country’s top tech companies involved.
Japan has shown a growing interest in Estonia’s e-governance and experience with digital solutions, particularly with ID-card applications and e-services based on the X-Road. The country’s government wants to digitize 90% of Japan’s public services by 2035.
Ratas noted that the two countries are united by a strong belief in innovation and the value of education. “According to the results of PISA tests, Estonian and Japanese children are at the top of the world in their abilities and skills. This is thanks to the strong education systems of our countries, but also the common belief that modern education, combined with the digital revolution, helps to study and teach more effectively,” Ratas said.
Speaking of e-state, the prime minister highlighted Estonia’s long-standing experience in developing digital services. “Estonia has been building a digital society and developing e-services for 20 years. Many of the companies that are accompanying me on this visit have refined this knowledge and experience into products and services that we now share with other countries. Estonia’s uniqueness is obvious in the fact that there is interest in our e-solutions from Finland to Singapore and from the United States to Dubai,” he said.
According to the prime minister, Estonian and Japanese people have close cultural cooperation and share common sports heroes in addition to being digital.
“In the past, we have enjoyed the victories of Kaido Höövelson or Baruto, and last year, we jointly rejoiced over the world rally champions Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja in their Toyota,” Ratas pointed out. In addition to having Estonian team-members until last season, Toyota’s rally team Gazoo Racing has one of its main production facilities located near Tallinn.
Prime Minister Ratas is visiting Japan with Estonian entrepreneurs, Mailis Reps, the Minister of Education and Research, and Kaido Höövelson, a member of the Riigikogu and the chairman of the Estonia-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group.