Minister of Housing Jan Vapaavuori of Finland

Vapaavuori takes over responsibility for Nordic issues from Foreign Minister, Ilkka Kanerva.
Jan Vapaavuori was born in Helsinki.
Vapaavuori is 42 years old, and has been a member of parliament since 2003.
TOKYO, Nov 15 (AP) - (Kyodo)The Nordic countries and Japan could take a greater initiative in tackling global warming if the two sides enhance cooperation in the field of renewable energy, Finnish Nordic Cooperation Minister Jan Vapaavuori said Thursday.
The most important to understand is that climate change is not only a challenge but is also a possibility for countries like Japan and the Nordic countries" that have rich know-how in developing renewable energy technologies, Vapaavuori said in an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo.
Vapaavuori said he sees that the Nordic countries and Japan are already "forerunners" in energy conservation and could further raise their international profile by closely working together to demonstrate that new green technologies will ensure economic growth and protection of the environment at the same time.
The figures show that what we have at hand here is a wide structural and fundamental question about large retail units and, most of all, about where exactly they should be built," Mr Vapaavuori said in the statement.
Mr Vapaavuori said a building boom of out-of-town shopping centres was questionable given the fight against climate change and a rapidly aging population increasingly reliant on public transport.
Echoing Kong's positive comments on bilateral ties, Vapaavuori said new energy and environmental protection technology are the strengths of the five Nordic countries, where they have something in common as well as their respective features.
Speaking at a seminar held by the Association of Finnish Building Inspectors, Mr Vapaavuori said regulations pertaining to fire safety, access, energy efficiency and urban landscape were all well-meaning.