MINSK, 8 February (BelTA) – Japanese people have a high opinion of the Belarusian medicine and often turn to Belarusian specialists, Charge d'Affaires of Japan to Belarus Hiroki Tokunaga said at a press conference at the national press center in Minsk on 8 February, BelTA has learned.
“The high level of Belarusian healthcare services is well known in Japan, and our citizens often seek medical help from Belarusian specialists, including transplant surgeons,” the diplomat noted.
At the same time he expressed regret that Japanese people are still not familiar with many Belarusian products and services. In his view, Belarus should try harder to make its products more visible in the world and to advertise it as an attractive investment destination.
Hiroki Tokunaga believes that Belarus and Japan are well placed to intensify their economic and cultural contacts. He noted that the bilateral trade is still insignificant and emphasized the need to expand it. According to the diplomat, in order to attract Japanese investment, one needs outstanding projects, at least one. This would encourage other investors to step up cooperation with Belarus.”The Japanese business community still knows little about the Belarusian market,” Hiroki Tokunaga added.
Belarus and Japan are working to increase mutual tourist flows. The diplomat believes that the decisions of the two countries to liberalize visa regulations are very instrumental in achieving this goal. “In January 2018 Japan eased visa rules for Belarusians. As a result, the number of Belarusian travelers visiting Japan rose 1.5 times,” Hiroki Tokunaga said. Belarus, in turn, introduced a visa waiver for Japanese nationals, which also facilitates bilateral contacts.
The Charge d'Affaires of Japan cited statistics of the Belarusian Sports and Tourism Ministry that suggests that after relaxing visa rules the number of Japanese tourists entering Belarus rose from 496 in 2016 to 623 in 2017. “I have no doubts that even more Japanese travelers visited Belarus in 2018,” the diplomat noted.