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Japanese Agency Debates Slovenian Participation in Smart Communities Project

Ljubljana, 16 May (STA) - Plans for cooperation in the area of smart communities and the strengthening of long-term ties were in the centre of talks held in Slovenia on Tuesday and Wednesday by the president of the Japanese agency for New Energy and Industrial Technology Organisation (NEDO) Hideo Hato.

In the meetings, including with Economy Minister Stanko Stepišnik, it was stressed that Slovenia has the know-how and technology to cooperate with Japan and become an example of best practice in the area of smart cities, both for the EU and broader, Slovenia's SPIRIT agency for entrepreneurship, innovation, development, investment and tourism wrote in a press release.

Hato stressed the importance of Slovenian participation in the preparation of a basis for a study being conducted by the Hitachi Research Institute. The study is in its final phase and its results will be the basis for Hitachi's decision on whether it will participate in a joint Japanese-Slovenian demo project in the field of smart communities.

Hitachi representatives were in Slovenia in March, assessing Slovenian companies as competent and announcing a high probability of technological cooperation in smart transport and green mobility. Slovenian government officials in turn expressed support to the Japanese side and assurance for cooperation.

SPIRIT, which coordinated the visit of the Japanese delegation, said that Slovenia and Japan wanted to set up long-term cooperation and that smart technologies and projects related to them were a priority in Slovenia.

Apart from a meeting with Economy Minister Stepišnik, Hato also held talks with Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Minister Samo Omerzel, presidential foreign policy adviser Marko Makovec, state secretary in the PM's office Gašpar Gašpar Mišič and acting SPIRIT head Boštjan Skalar.

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