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Natural Resources Canada
November 12, 2011 

Minister Oliver Concludes Mission to Strengthen Trade Ties With Japan

TOKYOThe Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, wrapped up his three-day trip to Japan with a visit to the Tohoku region, where he toured the city of Sendai’s newly reconstructed port and commemorated the arrival of the first shipment of Canadian lumber since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The Minister also toured a temporary housing site for residents displaced by these disasters. This site comprises 95 units built with Canadian lumber.

On Friday, Minister Oliver joined with the Government of British Columbia and representatives from Canada’s forest industry to announce $4.5 million in support for the Canada–Tohoku Reconstruction Project. These funds will be used to support the construction of one or more community facilities such as a school or elderly care centre in the Tohoku region incorporating high-quality Canadian wood. The Minister reiterated Canada's support for Japan's rebuilding efforts during a dinner speech before key members of Tohoku's regional builders.

“Japan is a long-standing investor in and consumer of Canadian natural resources and energy, and Canada looks forward to strengthening this relationship,” said the Minister. “Canada’s oil sands, gas and uranium resources, along with its innovative clean energy and energy efficiency sectors, provide us with a unique opportunity to help Japan meet its energy needs.”

On the first leg of his mission to Japan, Minister Oliver held a bilateral meeting with Mr. Seishu Makino, Japan’s Senior Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), to discuss trade and investment policies related to natural resources. Minister Oliver also met withMr. Tsukasa Iwamoto, Senior Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to promote Canadian wood products and wood-frame construction materials, particularly in the adoption in public facilities.

The Minister witnessed the signing of a Declaration of Intent, with the Japan Coal Energy Centre, which will encourage cooperation between the two countries on clean coal and carbon capture and storage. Canada will be working with Japan over the coming months to evaluate opportunities for collaboration and to develop a plan for future cooperation.

In addition, Minister Oliver signed a Letter of Intent with the President of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation towards exploring ways to develop and expand mutual cooperation in the area of minerals and metals and their products.

Minister Oliver met with Mr. Banri Kaieda, Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Affairs and former METI Minister, to discuss Canada’s broad natural resource related interests in Japan (this meeting to be confirmed last minute) as well as with leading Japanese energy, natural resources, finance, infrastructure and shipping companies to discuss Canada’s potential contribution to Japan’s energy security, including trade in oil sands and natural gas, and to promote investment in Canada’s energy and natural resources sectors.

The Minister also spoke at the Japanese Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry to discuss Canada’s role as a global energy superpower, taking the opportunity to underline that Canada is a responsible and reliable partner in achieving a secure and sustainable global energy supply.


Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver today concluded his visit to Japan, where he met with government officials and industry leaders to promote trade and investment in energy and natural resources between Canada and Japan. The Minister also participated in a tour of the port city of Sendai.

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Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada


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