E.IDRISSOV PARTICIPATES IN CENTRAL ASIA+JAPAN DIALOGUE, MEETS WITH COUNTERPARTS
Astana, July 16: BISHKEK – Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan
Idrissov joined his counterparts from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,
Uzbekistan and Japan, July 16, to review 10 years of cooperation within the
Central Asia+Japan dialogue. The group also discussed ways to develop and
strengthen partnerships in the coming decade. The agenda of the meeting included such issues as increasing cooperation to
promote collaboration in the agricultural area, achieving sustainable
development based on Millennium Development Goals, combating illicit drug
trafficking, addressing the situation in Afghanistan and preventing natural
In his remarks to the gathering, Idrissov
expressed gratitude to Japan for its active promotion of the Central Asia+Japan
dialogue, which is considered an important tool to strengthen cooperation among
the countries. He also drew attention to the need to continue the rapprochement
and expansion of cooperation for peace and stability and improve the welfare of
citizens in the region in an environment of increasing challenges and threats
in Central Asia.
“In this context, Kazakhstan stands for the
strengthening of the Central Asia plus Japan dialogue and the search within its
framework of pragmatic and viable cooperation projects and mechanisms. Our
activity is intended not only to create conditions for cooperation and to
strengthen and develop economic relations, but also lead to the growth of
sincere political trust and ultimately to create conditions [for security] on
the vast part of the Asian continent,” Idrissov said.
During the meeting, the six ministers
exchanged opinions on deepening cooperation in agriculture, which according to
previous agreements was selected as a pilot area for closer cooperation among
the participating states. The ministers agreed to implement specific
agricultural projects. They also signed a joint statement at the outcome of the
meeting covering a wide area of issues.
While in the city, Idrissov met with
Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida. The meeting focused on
visits at the highest levels, prospects for further promotion of trade and
economic cooperation, cooperation within multilateral diplomacy and a regular
exchange of views on international issues.
Idrissov and Kishida noted the importance of the start of production of Toyota
Fortuner cars in Kostanai and expressed hope that this will pave the way for
other Japanese automakers. They also noted favourable prospects for further development
of cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and the development of rare earth
Speaking about the prospects for economic cooperation, Kishida expressed
Japan’s support for reforms in Kazakhstan aimed at achieving the objectives of
the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, noting specifically the possibility of Japanese
participation in the development of small and medium-sized businesses.
The two ministers discussed the possibility
of opening direct air services between Kazakhstan and Japan. They expressed
hope that the introduction of a unilateral, visa-free regime in Kazakhstan for
the citizens of Japan and nine other countries on July 15 will increase the
flow of tourists and investors. Kishida assured Idrissov that Japan, in turn,
will promptly consider the abolition of visa requirements for holders of
diplomatic and service passports.
Idrissov officially invited Japan to
participate in the international exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana and expressed
hope that Japanese companies that are known for their know-how and technologies
in the field of new energy will take an active part in it.
The parties agreed to increase cooperation
in the international organisations, such as the United Nations and UNESCO. At
the same time, they highlighted the importance of the recent inclusion of the
Great Silk Road objects both in Kazakhstan and Japan on the UNESCO World
They also considered the cooperation between
Kazakhstan and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
The Central Asi+Japan dialogue is a new form
of cooperation initiated by Japan in 2004 to expand and strengthen ties with
Central Asian countries as well as to increase regional cooperation. The
dialogue has become an important platform for the discussion of issues related
to the region’s political, economic and security challenges.