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Ratas: Estonian entrepreneurs have a lot to offer to the city of Ichikawa in terms of e-solutions

11. February 2020 - 15:05

Tokyo, 11 February 2020 – Today, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas opened the business seminars organised for Estonian and Japanese companies in Ichikawa and Tokyo. In addition, Prime Minister Ratas and Mailis Reps, Minister of Education and Research, met with Hirotami Murakoshi, Mayor of Ichikawa, to discuss the experience of Estonia in building a digital society and opportunities for cooperation with Japan in the fields of e-services and education.

Ratas expressed the hope that as a result of the business seminars, Estonian companies will cooperate with their Japanese counterparts in the future and thereby partake in the digital transformation of Japan. Nearly 160 entrepreneurs participated in the PlanetForum business forum in Tokyo. In his opening speech, the prime minister focused on opportunities for cooperation between Estonian and Japanese companies and on the use of digital identity and X-Road solutions in Japan.

At the business events, Ratas gave an overview of the experience of Estonia in building an e-state and developing digital services. “Currently, the public and private sector offer about 5,000 different e-services – including, for example, e-voting, e-health, e-school, and so on,” the prime minister said. He also spoke about the use of artificial intelligence in (the) Estonian public and private sector and the legalisation of the testing of self-driving cars.

During a meeting with the Mayor of Ichikawa, Ratas said that innovation requires a favourable environment and support from the state and local governments. “We must use innovation to tackle both smaller and more serious challenges. Climate and the environment are increasingly important issues on a global scale, both in Japan and in Estonia,” said Ratas. “In cooperation with the Japanese company Mitsubishi, Estonia was fitted with an extensive network of electric vehicle charging stations already seven years ago. Now, we see great potential in the development of hydrogen technologies, for example,” said the prime minister.

According to Prime Minister Ratas, Estonia and the city of Ichikawa share the vision that technology must help make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. “I believe that Estonian entrepreneurs have a lot to offer here in the development of e-solutions. I hope that today’s meetings will lead to real results that will benefit both Ichikawa and Estonia,” said the prime minister.

Ichikawa, the sister city of Pärnu, is a city of 500,000 inhabitants located 20 kilometres from the centre of Tokyo. The city leaders of Ichikawa want to develop the best public and digital services and are therefore interested in Estonia’s experience and opportunities.

Eighteen Estonian companies, Mailis Reps, Minister of Education and Research, and Kaido Höövelson, member of the Riigikogu and chairman of the Estonia–Japan Parliamentary Friendship Group, are accompanying Prime Minister Ratas during the visit.

Photos of the visit: