TechUkraine: With extensive professional experience worldwide (the USA, Turkey, Israel), during the last 2 years, you have been based in Tokyo as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Japan. What are the key priorities for Ukraine in the Asia-Pacific region, considering Japanese leadership in the hi-tech sphere?
Sergiy Korsunsky: Setting aside priority number one, which is securing Japan’s support to Ukraine in a war against Russia, it is the development of cooperation in academic and high-tech areas.
Japan is a well-known technology powerhouse, and we can learn many things from Japan.
At the same time, believe it or not, in some areas, particularly in the broad spectrum of IT applications, Ukraine is ahead of Japan.
In Japan, faxes are still in use, as well as landline phones and analog TV. The banking system and other services are not digitalized enough; they are very time and resource-consuming, unlike in Ukraine.
Last year ELEKS opened its office in Tokyo, and a three-day seminar was recently conducted with the participation of dozens of IT companies interested in developing cooperation. And we expect more Ukrainian IT companies in Japan soon. Many local companies employ Ukrainian software engineers.
But IT is not the only area. In dozens of Japanese universities, we have Ukrainian researchers in biotechnologies, new materials, space explorations, linguists, robotics, etc. Being a scientist myself in the past, I attach paramount importance to this area of cooperation.
TechUkraine: After the 24th of February, we are living in another geopolitical world. As a well-known expert on geopolitical issues, what do you think about the new approach in diplomacy after the full-scale invasion of russia?
Sergiy Korsunsky: Diplomacy now works 24/7. I would even say 48/7. The ultimate goal is to secure international support to Ukraine, particularly assistance with military and humanitarian supply.
What is new in modern diplomacy is the wide use of social networks, special instruments of critical analysis to fight disinformation, and special knowledge of technical things normally not attributed to career diplomats.
For example, suppose you need to explain why Russian troops in Zaporizhzhya NPP are a form of nuclear terrorism. In that case, you need to know about nuclear power plant operations, what a cooling pond is, and why spent fuel has to be cooled down before reprocessing. Similar things go to UNV technologies, drones, etc.
This war teaches us that a much more diversified range of skills and instruments is needed to fight against an overwhelming force of the enemy.
As well as a broad knowledge of economic, legal and even cultural peculiarities in the region the diplomat is posted on a necessity, not a whim. Many countries look at our war differently in Asia than in Europe or North America. You need to understand why it is so and how to connect the dots.