Tokyo, Japan, 11 February 2020 – At a reception dedicated to the 102nd anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas emphasised that cooperation and friendship with Japan, despite its long distance from Estonia, are becoming ever closer and more practical. ‘I believe the next hundred years of friendship will be even more successful for us,’ the prime minister said.
According to Ratas, 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,’ said Ratas.
Speaking of the 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. ‘Hopefully, we will be able to establish new contacts with the Japanese public and private sector and thus support the export of Estonian IT and green energy companies within these few days.’
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. Lovers of classical music highly appreciate the talents of Neeme, Paavo and Kristjan Järvi, and Anu Tali, who have conducted the leading Japanese orchestras. Arvo Pärt and Estonian animated films also speak to the Japanese,’ Ratas pointed out.
The reception was attended by Japanese Minister of Defence Taro Kono, Chairman of the Japan–Estonia Friendship Group of the Japanese Parliament Takuya Hirai-sensei, entrepreneurs and politicians, and the local Estonian community.