Visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi to Tajikistan
30 August 2004
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
On 29 and 30 August 2004, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi visited Tajikistan as part of her round trip to four countries in Central Asia from 25 to 31 August. This was the first ever visit to Tajikistan by a Japanese Foreign Minister. During her visit to Tajikistan, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi paid a courtesy call on President Emomali Rahmonov and held a meeting with Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov, and signed Exchange of Notes for "Supply of Musical Instruments to the Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet named after Sadriddin Aini," a cultural grant aid project by the Government of Japan.
2. Specific Results
(1) Enhancing Bilateral Relations
During the meetings, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi expressed her appreciation for the efforts made by Tajikistan in overcoming the Civil War and for their nation-building efforts. She stated that Japan would move ahead respecting the will of the late Civil Affairs Officer Dr. Yutaka Akino* for further enhancing the bilateral relations. President Rahmonov welcomed the visit of Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and appreciated the progress made in bilateral relations in recent years. Both sides confirmed their intention to work together to bring the relations even closer in the future.
* In July 1998 four officials of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT), including Civil Affairs Officer Dr. Yutaka Akino, were killed on duty when they were attacked by armed forces while posted to Tajikistan.
(b) Japan's New Policy for Central Asia
Japan intends to elevate the relationship with Central Asia to a new height. For this purpose, Japan proposed a new policy initiative for Central Asia based on two pillars; 1) to further strengthen the bilateral relations between Japan and each Central Asian country. The visit to each four countries by Foreign Minister Kawaguchi was planned under this policy, and, in parallel to this, 2) to initiate the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue in order to promote dialogue and cooperation with the entire Central Asian region. In response to this, President Rahmonov expressed his high appreciation and full support for this initiative.
(c) Economic cooperation
The Tajikistan side expressed high gratitude and appreciation for the economic assistance by the Government of Japan. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that Japan would continue support for the nation-building efforts of Tajikistan to assist further democratization and transition to market oriented economy. Both sides exchanged views on possible future cooperation projects.
(2) Launching "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue
Foreign Minister Kawaguchi extended her gratitude toward Tajikistan on their cooperation which brought success to "Central Asia plus Japan" foreign ministers meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan on 28 August. President Rahmonov welcomed this Dialogue and confirmed his intention to support this Dialogue.
(3) Situation in Afghanistan, Fight Against Terrorism
President Rahmonov and Foreign Minister Kawaguchi exchanged views on the situation of Afghanistan and its surrounding countries. Based on the understanding that the peace and stability of Afghanistan had direct impact on the stability and prosperity of Tajikistan, they discussed issues such as terrorism and drugs, and shared the view that Japan and Tajikistan would cooperate in their efforts for the peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
3. Supply of Musical Instruments to the Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet named after Sadriddin Aini
This is a cultural grant aid project by the Government of Japan through supply of musical instruments for orchestra use including pianos to a public theater which serves as a center of musical and cultural activities in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. The implementation of this project was agreed during this visit (Amount to be provided is 49.5 million yen (or approximately US$ 450,000)).
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