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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
St Petersburg views: Yoshiko Arakawa
St Petersburg residents originating from each of the G8 nations assess Russia's role as their city prepares to host the G8 summit.

Yoshiko Arakawa
Name: Yoshiko Arakawa
Job: Lecturer at St Petersburg State University
G8 country of origin: Japan
I think Russia has a very authoritative voice at the summit, because it possesses large reserves of oil and gas. The Russian economy is developing very fast.

A proof of that is how St Petersburg has changed before my own eyes. The city has become much brighter - lots of advertising, lots of shops, cafes and sushi bars.

Toyota is now building a plant here. Toyota is our pride.

Russia is a very powerful country because of oil. Japan has almost no oil, although now they say there is some in the north.

I would like Japan to pass recycling technology to Russia, so that in Russia they separated garbage - plastics, tins, metal and so on. I'd like ordinary Russians to do that.

Modesty is a very important trait of character both in Russia and in Japan.

But the Japanese are not only modest - they are also reserved. In Russia and particularly here in St Petersburg people are modest, but they know how to have a good time.

It is because the winter is cold and dark, and then - like today - suddenly there is a bright sun and everybody is enjoying it.

I think Japanese people need to learn from Russians how to have fun.


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