President Viktor Yanukovych met with faculty and students of Kyoto University.
"Being for the first time in your country, which is among the world leaders thanks to the strength of national intellect and spirituality, the unique ability to combine traditions of ancient culture and advanced science and technology, I just could not miss the opportunity to talk with students and faculty. After all, you are the future elite of the Japanese nation, and how close Ukraine and Japan will be in the future depends largely on you," he said said.
Telling the audience about Ukraine, President Yanukovych said it is one of the largest countries in Europe.
"Ukrainians have a traditionally high level of education and training. Ukraine is a developed industrial state, which is among the five leading aerospace countries," he said, reminding in particular that one of Ukraine’s achievements in that area is creating world's most powerful transport aircraft An-225 Mriya.
According to President Yanukovych, important elements of the economic potential of Ukraine are powerful mining, metallurgical, engineering and defense industries.
He also said that currently Ukraine is rapidly developing modern transport infrastructure.
"We also intend to actively use our unique black soil. We have all the prerequisites to restore the glory of Ukraine as the breadbasket of Europe, and become one of the leading suppliers of foodstuffs in the near future. This potential allows us to set ambitious objectives for economic development, strive to significantly increase our role in the global markets," he said.
Speaking about the political situation in the state, President Yanukovych said that a year ago, after democratic elections, the team of pragmatists came to power in Ukraine. "The priority of our activity is modernization of the country. We have started systemic economic and social reforms, which aim to create a growing economy attractive for investment," Viktor Yanukovych said.
Referring to external political priorities of Ukraine, President Yanukovych said: “Our strategic goal has been and remains membership in the European Union. Merging into European political, economic, legal and humanitarian space is our beacon in conducting systematic reforms.
Over the past year were normalized relations with Russia. We have started solving some complex problems of bilateral relations. Ukraine has also declared the policy of non-aligned status. We also develop our relations with another important strategic partner of ours – the United States.
We are well aware of the present trend of formation of a multipolar world, regional integration in various parts of the world and growing influence of individual states, whose interests substantially define global agenda.
I mean, first of all, Asia, where there are many new centers of growth and influence. This allows us to speak about general tendency of the continent gaining its importance in the global economic and political processes.
We also strive to strengthen cooperation with Asia-Pacific regional organizations, such as APEC and ASEAN. An important step in that scope is my visit to Japan.”
“We are interested in credit, investment and technological potential of Japan, as well as in extending credit and financial cooperation, particularly under Japan's Official Development Assistance program.
One of our priorities is energy saving and ecology, based on the Green Investment Scheme under the Kyoto Protocol.
I also consider promising the cooperation in agriculture, alternative energy sources, upgrading housing, gas transportation systems, chemical and metallurgical industry, transport infrastructure, space exploration, etc.,” President Yanukovych said.
President Yanukovych also emphasized the importance of Ukrainian-Japanese cooperation in education and science.
“In recent years, with the support of the Government of Japan, more than 200 Ukrainian scientists, lecturers and students had an opportunity to undergo training in higher educational facilities of your country,” he said.
In his speech, President Yanukovych also reminded that Japan and Ukraine are linked not only by bright and happy events. "We are linked by grief too. Our countries had both been through large-scale nuclear disasters in the past," Viktor Yanukovych said.
In that context he thanked the residents of Kyoto and other Japanese cities, who had responded to the Chornobyl disaster in Ukraine 25 years ago, and provided assistance to victims of the Chernobyl accident.
"On behalf of all Ukrainian people I would like to express sincere gratitude to the Government of Japan for assistance in the construction of the Shelter and ongoing support provided to overcome the disaster," he said.
He also expressed hope that Japan will be represented at the high level at the International Conference dedicated to commemorating 25 years of the Chornobyl disaster, to be held in April this year in Kyiv.
"The Ukrainian nation has great respect and deep liking for Japan. With every year, the interest in you unique culture and rich history is growing, more and more students are studying Japanese ...
I would like Ukrainian culture to became really interesting and attractive to you as well," he said.
Viktor Yanukovych noted that in 2012 Ukraine will host the EURO 2012.
"I believe that in the near future some of those present here today, young intellectuals of Japan, will make a significant contribution to strengthening Ukrainian-Japanese friendship and development of Ukrainian-Japanese cooperation," he said.