Visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi to Uzbekistan
August 27, 2004
(1) On 26 and 27 August 2004, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi visited Uzbekistan, the first country in her round of visits to four countries in Central Asia from 25 August to 31 August. (It has been five years since the last visit to Uzbekistan by a Japanese Foreign Minister in 1999.)
(2) During her visit to Uzbekistan, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi paid a courtesy call on President Islam Abduganievich Karimov and attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoev. She also held a Foreign Ministers Meeting with Foreign Minister Sodiq Solihovich Safaev, signed the Exchange of Notes for the "Tashguzar-Kumkurgan New Railway Line Construction Project", a Yen loan project by the Government of Japan, and exchanged diplomatic notes for the Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Uzbekistan for Air Services to come into effect.
(3) In addition, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi delivered a policy speech on Japan's New Policy for Central Asia at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent.
2. Specific Results
(1) Enhancing Bilateral Relations
At meetings between Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and high-level officials of Uzbekistan, there was confirmation that in recent years the relations between both countries, which are in a strategic partnership relations, have further deepened in various sectors including political and economic. The Uzbekistan side expressed high appreciation and gratitude for the economic cooperation that Japan has been providing over the years and expressed the hope that cooperation would continue in the future as well. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi expressed Japan's hopes for even further democratization and development of the market economy in Uzbekistan and stated that Japan intended to support Uzbekistan in its efforts to achieve that.
(b) Signing of the Exchange of Notes for the Tashguzar-Kumkurgan New Railway Line Construction Project
This project, a Yen loan project by the Government of Japan, is to construct a new railway line between Tashguzar and Kumkurgan in the South and to rehabilitate the existing line. As a result of the project, a reduction of distance and cost for transportation is expected. During this visit the two governments reached an agreement for the implementation of the project.
(c) Coming into Effect of the Agreement for Air Services
On 26 August, both Foreign Ministers exchanged diplomatic notes for the entry into force of "the Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Uzbekistan for Air Services". With this exchange of diplomatic notes, this Agreement entered into force on the same date, making it possible for stable operations of regularly scheduled flights between the two countries. This is expected to further advance personnel exchanges and economic exchanges between the two countries.
(2) Antiterrorism Cooperation, Afghanistan
Both countries firmly denounced terrorism and confirmed that the international community must act in concert in order to prevent international terrorism. Furthermore, both countries shared views that they would cooperate to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan.
(3) Cooperation at the International Arena
The Uzbekistan side stated that it hoped that in the future Japan would play an even larger role in the international arena and further expressed its support for Japan to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated Japan's intention to continue to cooperate with Uzbekistan in making efforts to realize the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.
(4) Launching of "Central Asia + Japan" Dialogue
During this visit to Central Asia, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi attended a meeting of the foreign ministers of Central Asia where a new forum for dialogue was launched in the form of the "Central Asia + Japan" Dialogue (scheduled to be held in Astana on 28 August) and Foreign Minister Kawaguchi expressed Japan's view of encouraging intra-regional cooperation aiming for stability and development of the Central Asia region as a whole, and called on Uzbekistan and the other countries of Central Asia for their understanding and support in this regard. In response to this, the Uzbekistan side welcomed Japan's initiative and stated its full support for it.
3. Policy Speech
(1) On 26 August, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi delivered a policy speech on Japan's New Policy for Central Asia at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy to an audience of Uzbekistan government officials, members of parliament, individuals affiliated with research institutions, members of international organizations, members of the diplomatic corps and journalists as well as students of the University (a total of approximately 350 people).
(2) In this speech, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that Japan is aiming to open a new era in its relations with the countries of Central Asia and outlined Japan's New Policy for Central Asia; based on the two pillars of; 1) during her visits to each country of Central Asia, efforts would be made to further enhance the approach taken thus far of advancing bilateral relations; and at the same time 2) parallel to this, dialogue and cooperation with the overall Central Asia Region will be promoted. In response to this, there was a strong expression of support by Uzbekistan. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi also stressed the importance of efforts to be made by Central Asia for further democratization, development of market economy and reform of the system.
(3) Before her speech, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi was awarded an Honorary Professor of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy.
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