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Health Care

Marubeni to bring Japanese-style preventive care to Russia

Trading house teams up with Russian Railways to offer medical screenings

Demand for preventive health care is expected to grow in Russia, spurring Japan's Marubeni to team up with Russian Railways to open a medical center in the city of Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East.

TOKYO -- Marubeni will partner with Kyushu University Hospital in the southwestern Japanese city of Fukuoka to create a business that will offer comprehensive health screenings in Russia's Far East.

The Japanese trading house recently set up a joint venture with Russian Railways Group, which runs about 170 hospitals and clinics in Russia. The joint venture will open a "Russian-Japanese health checkup and prevention center" in Khabarovsk, a city in Russia's Far East, as early as the autumn of 2021 that will operate a comprehensive medical screening business, a rarity in Russia.

Russia's relatively high cause-specific death rates, particularly for men, mean there is strong potential demand in the country for early detection and prevention, a strength of Japanese medical institutions. The number of cancer deaths per 100,000 people in Russia, for example, is 60% higher than in Japan. The mortality rate from vascular disease is five times higher.

Kyushu University Hospital has offered long-distance medical care more than 1,000 times. The hospital will support the Khabarovsk center in areas such as diagnostic imaging, endoscopy and pathology.

In the future, the business may offer remote surgical assistance from Japan to operating rooms in Russia via video link.

Marubeni plans to expand the business to around 10 locations in Russia within five years and predicts annual revenue of about 20 billion yen ($183 million).

Top leaders from Japan and Russia agreed in June to promote cooperation between the two countries on preventive health care. Marubeni's project will be the first by the private sector.

Marubeni also plans to expand its health care services to the rest of Asia. In the Philippines, it is cooperating with one of the country's largest private hospital groups in the area of blood testing.

In China, Marubeni sells drugs from Japanese pharmaceutical companies through a joint venture with a major local health care company.

Using its business network, Marubeni will seek to introduce medical technologies from Kyushu University Hospital in various parts of Asia.

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